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Editorial: Child Victims Act should be passed

Victims of child abuse may have a new opportunity to pursue justice if legislation introduced recently in the Minnesota House and Senate becomes law.

The Minnesota Child Victims Act, according to a press release from the National Center for Victims of Crime, "would make it easier for Minnesotans who were sexually abused as children to bring civil lawsuits against their abuser or the institution that facilitated the abuse."

Minnesota State Sen. Steve Latz, the Senate's author of the bill and a St. Louis Park DFLer, told the Daily Globe the legislation would remove the current statute of limitation requiring victims to sue within six years of becoming an adult. It would make Minnesota the only state allowing victims to pursue civil lawsuits for expired cases without a time restriction, he added.

It has been well documented in that victims of child sexual abuse often take years to come forward, or not do so at all. Meanwhile, the psychological affects of this abuse on the victims can almost certainly not be measured.

A recent survey by the National Center for Victims for Crime reports that 63 percent of Minnesotans think child sex abuse victims should be able to sue their abuser (or the institution that facilitated that abuse) at any time. The proposed legislation, unsurprisingly, also has the backing of numerous child abuse victim advocate organizations, and advocates are also lining up law enforcement officials for support.

Passage of the Minnesota Child Victims Act can only help those who suffered at the hands of abuse get the justice they deserve.