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Biden signs bill eliminating civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims

President Biden on Friday signed a bill that will eliminate the statute of limitations for people who were sexually abused as minors to file civil claims.

The Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Act was passed by the House by voice vote on Tuesday after passing the Senate by unanimous consent in March.

The bill eliminates time constraints for survivors to file civil claims related to sex abuse crimes against minors, including forced labor, sex trafficking, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children. 

Previously, minors who survived such abuse were able to file federal claims until they reached the age of 28 or until a decade after the violation or injury was discovered.

No federal statute of limitations was in place for criminal claims regarding child sexual abuse.

The bill was initially introduced by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and co-sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).

“The science of trauma is clear: it often takes years for victims to come forward,” Durbin said in a statement after the House passed the bill. “Our bipartisan bill honors the basic notions of justice for survivors, and I was proud to work with Senator Blackburn and our colleagues in the House to lead it across the finish line. By signing this legislation into law, we can finally help survivors have their day in court and a moment of healing—when they are ready.”

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