Due to the “social isolation” requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic, child sex abuse has been increasing at unprecedented rates.
On April 6, 2020, PBS published an article: “Why child welfare experts fear a spike of abuse during COVID-19.” As the founder and President of ROAR As One, I had expressed my fears for the children required to “Shelter in Place” with their abuser, who is often a sexual predator caregiver or family member. The PBS article clearly explains the concerns:
“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the act of going to school and being seen by teachers, staff and fellow students stretched a modest net to help catch children who might be mistreated. Before, someone outside the home might spot a bruise and ask how things were going. Amid social distancing, that oversight is gone. ‘These are all conditions that set up what might lead to child abuse and neglect,’ said [Dr. Robert] Sege, who served on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect.”
The increased number of child sex abuse victims being added each day of isolation results in an even greater need and impetus for action, not only for the children currently suffering silently at home, but also for those children who survive, only to later discover that they have no options for justice due to short statutes of limitations.
Justice Shouldn’t Depend on Geography. Today, justice for survivors of child sex abuse depends on geography. If you are a survivor of child sex abuse in one state, you may be denied justice afforded to a similarly situated survivor in another state for the same acts of child sex abuse by the same child abuser because of arbitrary time limitations. 95% of child sex abuse cases go unreported and without consequences. (U.S. Department of Justice statistics).
To ensure equal justice for survivors of child sex abuse, I am proposing federal legislation that eliminates the statutes of limitations for child sex abuse civil cases by creating a Uniform Statute of Limitations (“Karney USOL Act”) for civil cases, backward and forwards, in all 50 states, in the federal government, on Native American Tribal Lands, and in the District of Columbia.
This legislation has the support of leading attorneys, child experts, advocates for justice for children, healthcare advocates, nonprofits, as well as celebrities and influencers. The time has come. The proposal is being read by a number of members of the United States Congress.
Justice for Survivors
The US is ranked #36 in how it treats its children
Resources for those who are being sexually assaulted and abused:
About ROAR As One:
ROAR As One seeks justice for survivors in a world that has silenced, shamed and blamed victims of sexual violence (sexual assault, child sexual abuse, campus assault, workplace sexual harassment, online sexual harassment and rape) while protecting and enabling their abusers. First, we must use our collective voices to create a safe space in which survival stories matter. Only through action and awareness can justice truly be achieved.
ROAR As One aims to change legislation nationwide granting survivors civil rights status so they can pursue justice. We advocate for new federal civil rights that would eliminate or restrict unfair statutes of limitations. Nationwide, current laws give perpetrators unlimited sexual access to women and children without fear of consequence or accountability to their victim. Our goal is to pursue justice for survivors and hold abusers accountable.
- Why Child Welfare Experts Fear a Spike of Abuse. PBS News Hour. Retrieved April 7, 2020 from https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/why-child-welfare-experts-fear-a-spike-of-abuse-during-covid-19