New Bill in Georgia Being Pushed by Victims of Child Sex Abuse

Posted at 10:19 PM, Feb 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-03 22:19:00-05

ATLANTA, Ga., (WTXL) - "I was 16,” Lori Kennedy responded when asked about her rape, adding, “yes daily at work."  Kennedy says it took her nearly 20 years to admit what happened.

She was just one of a dozen rape victims who came out in support of a new Georgia bill helping victims of child sex abuse.

After a state capitol hearing Monday, they spoke in support of the bill, which would extend the statute of limitations in civil court allowing child victims to 35 years to sue their attacker.

This means victims could file claims against their attackers until they are 53 years old.

Right now, “if you're over 23 you're out of luck”...that coming from Marci Hamilton, a professor at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York City.  She says Georgia is one of the five worst states on this issue in the country!

The founder of the advocacy group, Voice Today, and leading the effort to pass house bill 17, or "The Hidden Predator Act”, Angela Williams, is also a rape victim.  She says it often takes years, even decades for victims to come forward.  Williams said, she even attempted suicide at one time to escape. "I took a bottle of vodka mixed with 64 sleeping pills so it was my way of trying to escape the abuse."

The bill would also open more investigative records, and would add a two year window for revival of claims for victims.