We stand with survivors. Call SB134 to a vote!
Dear [title] [last name],
I am an ally of child sexual abuse survivors and have been following the progress of SB134, the Hidden Predator’s Act. At your virtual Town Hall Meeting on March 25th, I listened to your concerns about potential constitutional questions and the possible impact on survivors of the lookback window being struck down by the courts. You are right that survivors would be disappointed. However, they will feel more disappointed and disheartened, and once again silenced and betrayed by those in power, by your failure to bring the bill for a vote.
The issue of the constitutionality of the lookback window and the so-called statute of repose has not been decided by the courts. We have heard well-respected legal experts disagree on the issue of constitutionality. Aren't courts, rather than the Chair of a Committee or the advice of one Assistant Attorney General, meant to determine constitutional questions?
As allies of survivors, we know the issue rests with the courts and know that Maryland survivors are prepared to take their chances with litigation. The issue of the constitutionality of the lookback window will be decided early in any case—long before the financial and emotional costs of discovery and a trial. If the court strikes down the lookback window; survivors will know you gave them a chance (and the statute of limitations going forward will be eliminated). If the lookback window survives the challenge; by voting the bill out of committee, you will have given survivors the opportunity to finally be heard and for justice to be done.
Will you join the perpetrators and powerful people and institutions who have silenced survivors for decades? Or, will you hear survivors and the more than 50 organizations that support them, as the House unanimously did, and bring SB134 to a vote, giving survivors their day in court? A non-vote = a no vote, and you then effectively stand with sexual predators and those who enable them.