"Statement by California attorney Joseph C. George, Ph.D."
On Sunday October 13, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 218, which gives survivors of childhood sexual assault, no matter when they were sexually abused, a three-year “window” to seek justice through the civil justice system. In addition, it will extend the statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual assault, allowing survivors up to their 40th birthday (used to be 26th birthday), or within 5 years (used to be 3 years) from the date of discovery of a psychological injury caused by the childhood sexual assault, to file a civil complaint.
We thank Governor Newsom for standing with survivors of childhood sexual assault. We especially thank Assembly woman Lorena Gonzalez for her sponsorship and efforts in getting Assembly Bill 218 signed, and for her work on behalf of survivors in the past. Thanks to a ground-breaking new state law, Assembly Bill 218, thousands of suffering Californians have a new chance for justice, healing, compensation and closure, despite decades of hopelessness. It’s among the most sensitive and far-reaching laws to help victims of childhood sexual assault in the US.
Assembly Bill 218 will make our state safer by identifying potentially dangerous child abusers and institutions that are hiding or enabling their crimes.
With this measure, California lawmakers acknowledge a reality that few legislatures acknowledge: that it is almost inevitably takes decades for people violated as kids to realize they were severely harmed and find the strength and courage to stand up for themselves and safeguard others.
With this new law, California again becomes a national leader in the protection of kids.
Dr. Joseph C. George is both a licensed psychology and attorney and has represented hundreds of survivors of childhood sexual assault Dr. Joseph C. George and survivors of childhood sexual assault are available for comment.
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