Bill would give victims of domestic sexual abuse more power

Bill would extend the statute of limitations by seven years for civil action.

crying woman battered 88 (photo credit: )
crying woman battered 88
(photo credit: )
The Knesset Law Committee on Wednesday approved for final reading a bill that would extend the statute of limitations by seven years for civil actions by women or men who suffered domestic sexual abuse during their years of dependence. The bill was initiated by MKs Nissan Slomiansky (National Union-NRP) and Ronit Tirosh (Kadima). According to the proposal, men or women who suffered sexual assault or harassment while they were minors, or sexual assault before the age of 21 by a family member or someone else upon whom they were dependent, will be able to sue the person for damages until they reach the age of 35. According to the current law, they may do so only until the age of 28. The law also determines that the statute of limitations will not come into effect until one year after the courts have handed down a final ruling on a criminal action against the abuser initiated by the state. This part of the law will apply to anyone under the age of 21, whether or not the abuse was conducted by a family member or another adult upon whom the plaintiff was dependent. The bill will apply retroactively to anyone who has suffered the relevant kind of sexual abuse as long as the current statute of limitations has not yet gone into effect. It will not apply to those regarding whom the statute of limitations is already in effect. Slomiansky said the bill would give those who have repressed the sexual abuse or needed to get over the trauma caused by it time to sue the abuser. He also maintained that it would deter would-be exploiters from taking advantage of children, adolescents and adults below the age of 21.