April 06, 2006

How the Ohio Legislature Betrayed Child Victims of Clergy Abuse, and How We Can Stop It From Happening Nationwide



Thursday, Apr. 06, 2006

Last week, the Ohio House sent a bill to the Governor's desk that requires clergy to report child abuse. That sounds like good news - but closer inspection shows the bill is extremely disappointing. And worse, it is not the only way Ohio has grievously let down victims of child abuse.

Last year, as I described in a previous column, the Ohio Senate unanimously passed legislation creating a window of time during which the statute of limitations would not apply, and lawsuits based on prior clergy child sexual abuse could be brought. Fittingly, the Senate accorded the victims who attended a standing ovation.

But a year later, the House Judiciary Committee caved under the pressure of the Catholic Conference -- gutting the same bill and filling the void with a toothless child abuse reporting requirement and an ineffective, insulting "civil registry," which, as I will explain, bring the victims no closer to justice.

Posted by kshaw at April 6, 2006 07:35 AM