LOUISVILLE, KY – In the closing days of the 2021 legislative session, the Kentucky Senate ensured final passage of an important bill for survivors of child sexual abuse, House Bill 472.
“According to data from the latest national Child Maltreatment Report, there were more than 20,000 child maltreatment victims in Kentucky in 2019, the highest rate in the country. One child harmed is one child too many,” said Keith Inman, president of Kosair Charities, which founded and supports the Face It Movement. “Shame and fear can keep individuals from sharing about their abuse, and HB 472 empowers survivors of sexual abuse to come forward and seek justice, and potentially prevent or end abuse for another child.”
HB 472, sponsored by Representative Lynn Bechler, seeks to extend the criminal statute of limitations for misdemeanor sex offenses involving minors from five years after their eighteenth birthday to 10 years after their eighteenth birthday. The legislation is also retroactive, meaning anyone who experienced sexual abuse as a child who missed the current five-year window for reporting their abuse would be eligible to report, if the ten-year window were still open.
“Kentucky kids count on leaders in Frankfort to speak up for them. We applaud Senate President Robert Stivers and the full Kentucky Senate for doing just that by prioritizing HB 472 in the final days of the legislative session. This legislation ensures that the law accommodates for the complex reasons for delayed disclosures for childhood sexual abuse to ensure the voices of survivors can be heard and their perpetrator can be held accountable,” said Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates.
Kentucky Youth Advocates and the Kosair Charities Face It Movement thank Representative Bechler for championing this measure, as well as Senate President Stivers, Senator Whitney Westerfield, and the Kentucky Senate for ensuring its passage today. We now call on the Governor to sign HB 472 into law to support survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Stay up-to-date on Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priorities and other bills that are good for kids on our Kentucky General Assembly Bill Tracker.
About Kentucky Youth Advocates
Kentucky Youth Advocates believes all children deserve to be safe, healthy, and secure. As THE independent voice for Kentucky’s children, we work to ensure policymakers create investments and policies that are good for children. Learn more at www.kyyouth.org.
About the Face It® Movement
The Face It® Movement launched in 2013 as an initiative led by Kosair Charities® in response to the number of child abuse deaths in the Commonwealth. Face It focuses on a three-pronged approach to addressing child abuse and neglect: promote best practices in child abuse prevention and intervention, build awareness and engage the community, and advocate for effective policies to improve the child welfare system. Learn more at faceitmovement.org.
About Kosair Charities®
Kosair Charities enhances the health and well-being of children by delivering financial support for healthcare, research, education, social services, and child advocacy. We envision a world in which children in need live life to the fullest. For more information, please visit kosair.org.