Schmidt Kramer Attorney Abbie Trone spoke to the Legal Intelligencer regarding a special session in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that began on February 21, 2023.
The purpose of this session, which is scheduled to continue through Friday, is to implement changes to existing legislation to benefit adult survivors of childhood abuse. Despite ongoing efforts to amend the current law, many adult victims are barred from suing their abusers due to time limitations.
The common tragedy for survivors of childhood sexual abuse is that, at the time of the assault, many of these victims are too young to fully understand what has happened to them. By the time they are able to come to terms with that abuse and decide to take legal action, the statute of limitations has passed.
The proposed amendment creates a two-year window for adult victims of childhood abuse. This legislation, if passed, would provide an extraordinary benefit for many adult survivors of childhood abuse. However, the bill has to first be voted into effect through a constitutional amendment.
Abbie Trone, as quoted in the Intelligencer, says she recognizes that “the way forward is rocky.” While Trone does think the legislation will pass in the House, she expects it will lose momentum in the Senate. She further added regarding future efforts, “I don’t think that it will reach this pinnacle again. It has to be now.”
Learn more about efforts to implement legislative changes for victims of childhood abuse, which have been ongoing.