VICTIMS, IF YOU WERE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED BY A SEXUAL PREDATOR SUCH AS a member of the clergy or a religious organization, a teacher, doctor, celebrity, wealthy businessman, or other power person or institution, you deserve the right to hold your sexual predator accountable.
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An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in the United States today. The National Center for Victims of Crime estimates 20 million Americans have been victimized by their parents (fathers, and stepfathers being the highest perpetrators.) One in three girls and one in five boys experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. One in five children will be solicited sexually on the Internet.
In Canada, which has stricter reporting laws and more accurate government studies, child sexual abuse is believed to happen to one in two girls and one in four boys.
The United Nations in a worldwide study that was conducted several years ago, states that are that are at least 150 million girls and 73 million boy survivors of child sexual abuse worldwide reported, with 90% unreported.
Part of the trauma of childhood sexual abuse is the secrecy. The conspiracy of silence that surrounds almost every victim’s life. Most victims of childhood sexual abuse does not report the abuse, and either repress memory, or stay silent. Those that break silence, only do many years after the abuse occurred. This creates countless legal barriers and obstacles in a legal system that was not designed to protect children.
Shari Karney has worked for over 25 years to help victims overcome these legal barriers, pioneering landmark legislation in California for victims of childhood sexual abuse. She worked tirelessly to get the statute of limitations for victims extended so that victims of child sexual abuse can use civil litigation to seek justice. California was a trailblazing victory that began a movement across the United States, to expand or do away with statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse.
Still more needs to be done. Karney is passionate in her belief that there should be no statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse across the United States. That the only people served by statutes of limitations for childhood sexual assault are the perpetrators and the organizations and institutions who protect them.