Sexual harassment victims bill passes c'tee

Statute of limitations on sexual harassment suits would be extended to seven years under the legislation.

Rape victim (photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)
Rape victim
(photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)
The statute of limitations on sexual harassment lawsuits will be extended from three to seven years, according to a bill authorized by the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women for its second and third (final) plenum readings on Wednesday.
The legislation, proposed by committee chairwoman Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), is expected to be brought to its final votes next week.
According to the bill, a victim of sexual harassment may sue up to seven years after the event.
The Justice Ministry withdrew its opposition to the proposal after Hotovely convinced Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman that the statute of limitations on sexual harassment suits should not be shorter than that of lawsuits regarding damages to property, which is seven years.
Hotovely also said that extending the time limit allows the women to process the trauma and understand that it was not her fault before dealing with the legal process.
“This law will help hundreds of women, for whom the three year statute of limitations is what kept them away from justice,” the Likud MK stated.
She also called for new initiatives to prevent sexual harassment.
Michal Rosin, the director of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, congratulated Hotovely, telling her to continue insisting that the Justice Ministry make changes to help victims.
“If clapping was allowed in the Knesset, this would be the time to do it,” Rosin quipped.