A bill that would extend the statute of limitations for misdemeanor sex offenses involving minors from five to ten years after their eighteenth birthday is progressing through the Legislature.
Written by Nadia Ramlagan of Kentucky News Connection
Supporters of House Bill 472, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Bechler, R-Marion, said it will help more survivors be heard and their perpetrators held accountable.
Nationwide, one in four girls and one in thirteen boys will experience sexual abuse, and 34% of all victims are younger than 12, according to data from the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tonya Jernigan, a licensed clinical social worker at UK Pediatric Forensic Medicine, said most sexual abuse occurs within a family or friends of family.
“So being able to extend the statute of limitations beyond that five-year mark, to that ten-year mark, I think, number one, it gives the individuals the ability to separate from that family of origin, to be able to have some independence so that they feel they are able to tell their stories,” Jernigan contended.