In April of this year, the state of Hawaii took a major step forward to help stop child sexual abuse and prevent further abuse in the future. Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a bill extending the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits filed by child victims. At least as important, it opens a one-time two-year window to allow victims to file suits against their abusers even if the time limit had expired under the old law. This is the opportunity for justice for survivors of child sexual abuse in Hawaii.
If you or a loved one were abused by a member of the Boy Scouts, Mormon Church, Catholic Church, or any other institution of trust, now is the time to seek justice. Unfortunately, this opportunity will last only for 24 months and the clock began running when the bill was signed into law last April. Our friends at OAASIS have referenced a study that shows that it takes, on average, a survivor of sexual abuse 22 years to come forward after the abuse stops. I appreciate the pain and the struggle for those in Hawaii who’ve been abused. In my years working with abuse survivors, I know coming forward takes a great deal of courage. Sometimes, that is the beginning of the healing process.