States would be encouraged and given incentives to end the statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions and civil suits involving childhood sexual abuse cases as part of a bill introduced on Wednesday by U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
The measure comes after New York in 2019 approved a bill making it easier for survivors and victims of childhood sexual abuse to sue and days after the look-back window for that measure expired.
“No child should ever have to endure the trauma of child sex abuse, which can lead to devastating and long-lasting effects. As lawmakers, we must do everything in our power to support these victims and respond in a manner that meets the unique needs of their situation," Gillibrand said.
The bill would provide states with a 5% boost in federal grant awards for training law enforcement and prosecutors in handling child sexual abuse cases, and would be eligible for the additional funding if they have ended the statute of limitations for both civil and criminal cases.
At the moment, seven states — North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming — have fully ended the statute of limitations for all felony sex crimes.