Representative Carol Bush was there from the start and did whatever had to be done to keep the bill moving forward. Thank you for your tenacity. Senator David Holt did a fantastic job presenting the bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee and on the floor of the Senate Chamber. Thank you for your legal expertise and compassion for this issue. Representative Scott Biggs kept the bill afloat when it appeared it might be in jeopardy. Thank you for your behind-the-scenes work. And thank you to all the other lawmakers who signed on as co-authors in a show of support. Finally, a giant thank you to Representative Kevin McDugle who went public with his own trauma for the first time, and helped his colleagues understand just how pervasive this problem is, and that it can, and does, affect anyone.
Thank you lawmakers!
Oklahoma has taken a giant step forward for victims' rights. Survivors of child sexual abuse now have until the age of 45 (up from 31) to pursue criminal charges against their perpetrators. Additionally, if DNA evidence is present, there is no longer a 12-year time limit attached to it; charges may be brought whenever a DNA match is obtained.
Silence and secrecy have long been the greatest strengths of this horrific crime. Let us not be afraid to speak out, to shine a light on dark places, and to encourage survivors to throw the yoke of shame and guilt off of themselves and onto the place where it belongs, the perpetrators. May this law help survivors reclaim even a fraction of the dignity that has been stolen from them.
My eternal thanks to my fellow survivors for their courage, to my family and friends who kept the fire burning, to everyone who called and wrote the State House, to all the lawmakers who said now is the time, and to Governor Fallin for signing the bill. Thank you!