Washington State House Democrats


LEGISLATIVE NEWS: Bill Seeking Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Passes House

OLYMPIA — Childhood sexual abuse effects one in four girls and one in thirteen boys worldwide. The trauma this abuse causes is long lasting and life altering.

We now better understand how this trauma impacts the brain. It often leads many survivors to never disclose their abuse, and those who do, only do so at a much later point in their lives after the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse has passed.

To provide a prospective avenue of justice, Representative Farivar, D- Seattle, introduced House Bill 1618 removing limitations for survivors who want to sue for childhood sexual abuse in civil court. The legislation comes at a time of renewed attention for transparency in reporting abuse and protecting children from sex crimes.

“This bill recognizes that recovery from child sex abuse isn’t linear,” said Rep. Farivar. “Sexual abuse is already underreported, so it is incredibly important to empower survivors with the tools to hold predators accountable”.

This law will better help identify hidden sexual predators, shift the costs of abuse away from victims and taxpayers to the perpetrators, and educate the public about the prevalence and impacts of this abuse.

SHB 1618 cleared a major legislative milestone on January 25, when it passed the House. It now heads to the Senate. Click here or on the image below to learn more.