Senator Ron Latz (DFL-Golden Valley) held a press conference today to discuss the introduction of the “Minnesota Child Victims Act.” The senator was joined by Rep. Steve Simon (DFL-Hopkins), Rep. Sondra Erickson (GOP-Princeton), Donna Dunn, executive director of MN Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and Jeff Dion, deputy executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime.
“The Minnesota Child Victims Act is pretty simple and straightforward,” said Sen. Latz. “It gives an opportunity for victims of child abuse, when they finally gather the knowledge and the fortitude to confront the issue head on, to hold those institutions accountable that allowed the abuse to happen.”
The Minnesota Child Victims Act would make it easier for Minnesotans who were sexually abused as children to bring civil lawsuits against their abuser or the institution that facilitated the abuse. The bill would also remove the current statute of limitation that requires victims to file lawsuit within six years of becoming an adult. If the bill is passed into law, victims could file a lawsuit at any time no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.
“It sometimes takes decades for victims to confront the abuse, but current state law requires them to come forward before 24 years of age, said Sen. Latz. “Our legislation rightfully recognizes the healing process, while holding abusers and institutions accountable.”
The legislation is supported by numerous child abuse victim advocate organizations, including the National Center for Victims of Crime, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Minnesota Alliance on Crime, Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, National Child Protection Training Center, Stop Abuse Campaign and 1in6.
In addition to advocate organizations, the Minnesota Child Victims Act is supported by local law enforcement officials including Kanabec County Attorney Amy Brosnahan, Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom, Carver County Attorney Mark Metz and Mower County Attorney Kristen Nelson. Kathleen Blatz, former Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, also supports the legislation.