As many of you know, Hometown Happenings is about community events. We never involve ourselves in political issues. It’s not what we do. But, this was brought to our attention by a good friend and we felt it was too important to ignore. So, part of the focus of our upcoming Walk a Mile in Her Heels event will be to bring attention to ending the 5 year statute of limitations on sexual assault in Indiana.
Why is this important? For an answer, I asked sexual assault survivor and advocate Joy Evans Ryder. Her petition to end the statute of limitations already has 3,000 signatures. Please consider adding your name as well to the petition.
Why Does it Matter?
Sexual abuse is at epidemic levels. Every two minutes, another person reports being sexually assaulted. 17.3% of Indiana 9th-12th grade females reported forced sexual assault compared to 10.5% nationwide. Over 500,000 women in Indiana are raped annually. Fear, false shame, humiliation, reprisal and blame cause many victims to take a long time in coming forward, if at all. When they finally do feel capable and strong enough, they realize their statute of limitations re-victimize them. Why should TIME be one of the barriers victims face in order to find justice for crimes committed against them?
The enormous impact of rape isn’t limited to five years, or seven years or even ten. Rape is violent and traumatic. Most rapists are serial offenders. By eliminating the statute of limitations for rape and sexual battery, we stand a greater chance of catching and prosecuting to the fullest extent possible criminals whohave committed multiple crimes, thus promoting justice for numerous victims and making our communities safer in the process.
Is the law protecting the wrong person? Does the SOL actually favor abusers over victims? The clock needs to stop for offenders, NOT victims! The SOL tells victims and communities ‘it doesn’t matter anymore. Your time’s run out.’ When the SOL runs out for a victim, it’s actually freedom for the abuser, while the victim is in a life-long prison of suffering. Survivors need justice and healing no matter how long it takes! Help to eliminate the Statute of Limitations in Indiana!