Arabic Arabic Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Dutch Dutch English English French French German German Italian Italian Portuguese Portuguese Russian Russian Spanish Spanish
| (844) 627-8267

Senate Republicans oppose measure at Colorado State Capitol aimed at holding child sexual predators accountable | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey | #hacking | #aihp

There is surprising pushback against a constitutional amendment that would allow child sex assault survivors to bring civil claims no matter how long ago their abuse happened. Republicans in the Colorado Senate are threatening to prevent the measure from making the ballot. 

They’re worried it would lead to lawsuits against churches, schools and other institutions that they say would have no way of defending themselves because the cases happened so long ago.

Under the amendment, survivors could sue both their abusers and those who covered up the abuse. 

The legislature passed a similar law three years ago, but the Colorado Supreme Court struck it down, saying the Constitution prohibits retroactive cases.

While many Republicans helped pass the law, they are now refusing to refer the constitutional amendment to the ballot unless institutions are exempted.

Child sex assault survivors such as Angie Witt say the opposition makes no sense. Witt says she grew up in a troubled home in Pueblo and turned to her church for safety. Instead of protecting her, she says, her pastor molested her for 15 years, starting when she was 7 years old.

“Being groomed and conditioned on what was OK, what was not OK,” she said. 

She says she buried the memories until she had her own kids.

“As they started to age and started to become the ages that I was when the sexual abuse began — that really hit home and hit hard,” she said. 

Witt was in her 40s by the time she reported her pastor. By then, the statute of limitations for civil cases — six years after her 18th birthday — had run out.

Police declined to file charges, but the church did act.

“They removed him from his position in the church with behavior unbecoming of an elder,” she said. 

She says he was allowed to collect his pension and avoid accountability, putting other kids at risk, which is why she’s fighting to pass an amendment by state Sen.s Jessie Danielson and Rhonda Fields that would eliminate the statute of limitations for civil claims against abusers and the institutions that cover up the abuse.

“This is about protecting kids and holding abusers accountable and that’s it,” she said. 

Republican state Sen. Paul Lundeen opposes the bill that he says could lead to unintended consequences.

“The challenge is upending the justice system so to of speak, when we know that the facts are going to be antique if existing at all,” he said.

Witt says, in her case, there is evidence of both abuse and a cover-up.

“I’ve spoken with people in the denomination who knew me when I was a child, who said we saw red flags, we didn’t say anything.” she said. 

If the bill fails, she says, not only will she not have a voice, neither will Coloradans.

“I’ve been able to do years of therapy and healing. I’m using my voice to advocate for other victims of childhood sexual abuse. To advocate for the little girl in me who didn’t have a voice,” she said. 

It takes two-thirds support from both the Colorado House and Senate for a measure to be referred to the ballot, which means at least one Republican senator has to vote with all the Democrats for it to pass. 

Right now, Danielson says all Senate Republicans are opposed. She says 27 other states have similar laws already in place.

Click Here For The Original Source.