FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2011
Contact: Maureen Martinez at 610-296-3264 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tammy Lerner at 610-209-9568 email@example.com
John Salveson at 215-8700680 firstname.lastname@example.org
Justice4PAkids and Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse (FACSA) Demand Legislative Action in Wake of Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal!
How Many Children Will Be Raped
Before Pennsylvania’s Legislature Acts to Prevent Future Abuses?
MALVERN, PA- Justice4PAkids and FACSA is demanding that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enact better laws to protect children from sex abuse predators. Maureen Martinez, Co-Founder of Justice4PAkids, Tammy Lerner and John Salveson, both of FACSA, want to send a clear message to Ronald Marico, (R-Dauphin County) Chairman of the Judiciary Committee that the committee needs to immediately list HB 832 and 878 on its agenda for discussion and hearings – especially in the wake of the current Penn State sex abuse scandal.
Martinez stated, “When are the legislators going to realize sex abuse is an epidemic in our state and enact the important bills that are n front of them for better protection against predators? The Penn State cover-up of Sandusky is just another example of how this state protects predators, not kids.”
HB 832 and 878 were introduced on March 9, 2011 by Louise Bishop and Mike McGeehan (both D-Philadelphia). HB 832 would repeal the statute of limitations in civil suits relating to child sexual abuse cases moving forward. HB 878 would provide a one-time, two-year window in which victims could bring a civil action in cases previously barred by current statute.
“Above and beyond justice for victims, these bills are about prevention. The state has an obligation to implement and enact all possible safeguards, in an effort to ensure that future generations of children are spared the horrors of childhood sexual abuse and its impact, which lasts a lifetime,” stated John Salveson.
“These bills are about letting victims at least have the CHOICE to have their day in court and being able to publically name their offender without having to worry about defamation. So many victims are over the statute of limitations and not even given the choice to seek justice. Even more alarming, a victim cannot publically name their offender, while perpetrators are still out there in society and seeking new children to harm,” says Martinez.
Lerner added, “Additionally, our leaders ought to take note that childhood sexual abuse is the second most costly victim crime in the United States and Pennsylvania, second only to homicide. By taking steps to prevent the crimes from happening in the first place, we will be saving PA tax payers billions of dollars in the long term: The long term economic impact of CSA to PA is over $1.4 billion, with the immediate impact estimated to be over $138 million per year. Prevention costs significantly less than treatment. The fact remains, at the end of the day, you’re either for the protection, health and welfare of children, or you’re not. So far, Rep. Marsico has demonstrated that he’s not.”
Justice4PAkids and FACSA is a coalition of child and victim advocates, lawyers, mental health professionals and concerned citizens dedicated to eliminating the statutes of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. This would expose perpetrators and those who harbor them; protect children; give victims an opportunity for justice; save taxpayers money.
On Oct 17, the coalition addressed the State Representatives in a press conference and personally hand delivered a petition of more than 1500 signatures supporting bills 832 and 878.
Despite numerous calls, emails, faxes and written letters, no one from Rep. Ron Marsico’s staff has ever stated when or if Marsico will place the bills on his Judiciary Committee Agenda.