The Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee, on which I serve, unanimously approved a package of bills that will help protect survivors of sexual assault and prevent more of these heinous crimes from occurring. In order to prevent sexual assault, we must help create an atmosphere where sexual assault survivors are empowered to speak up, report their experiences and begin the journey toward healing.
Senate Bills 871-880, primarily sponsored by Senator Margaret O’Brien (R – Portage), will extend civil statute of limitations for survivors of criminal sexual conduct and expand the criminal statute of limitations for these offenses. This legislation will also end civil immunity for abusers and enablers of abuse, make more adults, such as coaches and university staff, mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect, and increase criminal penalties for mandatory reporters who fail to report abuse.
Victims of sexual assault should never again feel frightened, threatened, or embarrassed about coming forward, and an abuser should never escape punishment because a victim took “too long” to share their story. I proudly supported this legislation in the Judiciary Committee, and look forward to seeing this common sense legislation become law.