Thursday, April 1, 2010

HB 2699 Now Includes Aguirre Sexual Abuses Bill Language

STATE CAPITOL, Phoenix – Today, the State Senate voted to amend a bill regarding child prostitution to include an amendment sponsored by Sen. Amanda Aguirre, which includes the language from SB 1292 regarding sexual abuse victims.
The Aguirre amendment eliminates the civil statute of limitation for a child sex abuse victim to bring a cause of action against the person or entity that perpetrated the abuse or negligently allowed it to happen. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary committee on Feb. 22 by a bipartisan and unanimous vote of 7-0.

“This is right thing to do! The legislators voting in favor of including this amendment have put children's safety first,” said Aguirre. “No one should destroy precious lives.”

The Senate voted 18-10 to include the Aguirre amendment to HB 2699 in the Senate Committee of the Whole.

The amendment creates a one-year "window" of time that allows adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse to bring an action against the persons who abused them. Many child sexual abuse cases are not prosecuted; this amendment creates a tool for many victims to hold the perpetrator accountable in civil court. The “window” applies to those survivors whose civil statute of limitations has already expired and who have not already sued the persons who abused them.

The Aguirre amendment is important because it exposes sexual predators and holds them accountable for the harm they have caused. When sex offenders are not held accountable for their behavior, they are more likely to continue to sexually abuse other children; the freedom to continue abusing results in more assaults on children and more victims.

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