To help victims of child sexual abuse receive justice, do three things.
First, go to www.attorneygeneral.gov. Watch the victim video and then download and read as much of the investigating grand jury report as you can stomach. I met many of the courageous victims/survivors at Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s Sept. 24 press conference in the Capitol rotunda. They are brave people who have suffered greatly for many years.
Second, contact state senators and urge them to vote for Senate Bill 261. The House has already passed this legislation in a 173-21 vote. The proposed legislation provides a window for past victims to press civil claims and proposes other reforms suggested in the report. The Senate has only a few days left in session to act on this. Previously, lobbying by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania has buried the child sex crime reforms in committee.
Third, thank senators who vote for the bill and, if it is not passed, hold opposing senators accountable for the suffering of child victims. The church has proven itself unable to resolve this problem. Remedies through the law are necessary.
While I listened to many powerful speakers at the press conference, I looked into the faces of the dozens of survivors seated on the rotunda steps behind them. Looking up toward the Capitol dome, I could read a quote by William Penn: “Do the thing that is truly wise and just.” I hope the senators do just that for the victims/survivors of abuse.