HARRISBURG, Pa.- Victims and advocates joined together on the steps of the State Capitol Monday morning calling on the Senate majority leader to put the latest sex abuse legislation on the floor for a full vote.
"Why are we still here when this grand jury report came out in 2018 in August, and we are still waiting for the last of their recommendations for the two-year window," says Heather Hogan Spencer, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse.
The bill asks for a two-year retroactive window for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to have the opportunity to get justice through legal action.
Representative Mark Rozzi of Berks County introduced the bill this year after a previous attempt to establish this window failed because of an oversight by state officials.
The House already passed the bill.
"What that window means to survivors of childhood sexual abuse is that they get their moment to see their perp in court when they have been previously time barred by bad statute of limitations laws," says Hogan Spencer.
Supporters of the bill say it would give victims who were children at the time of the abuse time to be ready to come forward with their trauma.
"We cannot have expected survivors to have come forward as children," says Donna Greco, with Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR). "We know so much today as a culture. So much has changed and evolved over the years. We know so much more about child sexual abuse, the grooming that happens, the silence that allows this crime to perpetuate."
The bill would also allow victims to file suit against institutions that protected predators in known instances of abuse.
Those who oppose the bill have cited concerns that it will trigger excessive lawsuits.