Their current campaign here in Florida relates to amending the State Constitution to eliminate statutes of limitation (the deadlines for filing legal actions) in cases of sexual battery against children. The current Statute of Limitation for a child sexual abuse case is 7 years after the age of majority (or at age 25), or within 4 years after the victim leaves the dependency of the abuser, or within 4 years from the time of discovery by the victim of both the injury and the causal relationship between the injury and the abuse, whichever occurs later. Since it is not unusual for a victim to not disclose the abuse until 15 or more years after the fact, many victims have no legal recourse because the Statute of Limitations has expired. You can download a petition from Protect Our Kids First in order to get this issue on the ballot.
Prior to this conference, I knew little to nothing about civil remedies that victims of crime had at their disposal. Jeffrey Dion, Director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association, together with three local attorneys presented too much information to digest in one day. These attorneys were not your stereotypical ambulance-chasing lawyers looking to make a quick buck. Each of them truly has a heart for victims and the all-too-often failure of the criminal justice system to provide for the needs of those victims. The NCVBA provides valuable information to attorneys, victims and advocates; attorney referrals to victims; an online database of civil litigation cases; and maintains a list of expert witnesses.
Finally, for a comprehensive source of information about crime victim rights and protections, click here.
CourtWatch began in order to involve citizens in monitoring the courts to assure that perpetrators of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse are held accountable and that victims are not re-victimized by the court system. We are a volunteer organization that covers Orange & Seminole Counties, Florida. We focus on criminal and domestic violence injunction hearings.
In 1996, I became a survivor of domestic violence. My 2-yr old daughter, Sarah, was murdered by her father, who subsequently committed suicide. At the time, I vowed that my loss would not be in vain. It's my fervent desire to help victims of family violence and sexual assault (as well as their children) be safe.