Happy New Year!
The start of a new year, especially after a major election cycle, is filled with the promise of a new legislative session opening. As is the tradition established in the U.S. Constitution, the new Congress will be sworn in on the first Monday in January. This year that will be on 5 January.
Many state legislatures will also be starting anew this week. Bills that were not taken up by the respective houses in state governments in the last session have will have to be reintroduced to be considered during the next legislative session. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the House of Representatives and Senate will reconvene on 6 January in Harrisburg as stipulated by the Pennsylvania Constitution. 253 members of the the Pennsylvania Legislature (50 Senators and 203 Members of the House of Representatives) will begin the task of tackling the legislative agenda for the Commonwealth.
If you are a resident of Pennsylvania, please contact your Senator and Representative and let them know that you support the passage of “window legislation” that will allow victims of sexual abuse as minor children to seek criminal and civil action against the person that preyed on them.
If you are a resident of any other state that has not passed “window” legislation, call, write or email your representatives to show your support.
Left to their own devices, organizations like the Catholic Church have shown that they will not do the right thing. As a result, the law of the land must protect victims where the church has failed. The only way to change the behavior of the Church is to force them under the threat of criminal and/or civil penalty if they fail. Canon Law has failed survivors of abuse. Support the rights of those who have been victimized by pedophile priests and then re-victimized by aloof and uncaring diocesan bureaucracies.
Get involved and make a difference!