When I first came forward about being sexually abused by a youth minister at Rehoboth Baptist Church, the church where I grew up, I wrote an article called, “Pedophiles Are Like Serial Killers“.
I titled it that because of what an investigator at the GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) told me. She said, “David, I believe pedophiles are like serial killers that leave their victims alive.”
I believed it that day and I do more so with each survivor I meet and with every story I hear.
Georgia Representative, Jason Spencer, has sponsored House Bill 17. It’s called “The Hidden Predator Act” and he said this of it in a recent post:
“Child sexual abuse is a secret crime that murders a child’s soul, and child sexual predators will always live among us. One in four girls will become victims, while one in six boys will suffer the same fate. Child sexual predators are often individuals who are close to the child victim, whereby those close relationships make a predator’s identity difficult to expose in the communities where they live.
Predators could be a close family friend, a pastor, a priest, a coach, a teacher, a doctor or even a parent. Many times, the child who is victimized never reports the crime for fear of not being believed by adults. Other times, child victims are so young that they are unaware of what acts are being done to them and lack the verbal capacity to describe the act, leading many victims to act out harshly or engage in other destructive behaviors as they age.
Typically, it is not until well into adulthood that the survivor of the ordeal has the ability to confront their perpetrators. However, in the state of Georgia, by the time survivors of child sexual abuse are ready to seek justice, they are locked out of the court rooms because of our law’s short civil statute of limitations (SOL).”
What Rep. Spencer described is EXACTLY what happened to me and it continues to happen to countless other victims of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). It took me 26 years to admit the shame, guilt and self-blame I felt about what Frankie Wiley did to me, and I have since learned, there are many others he abused, molested and raped. In 2006, I went to the DeKalb County Police Department to file a report and have charges brought against Frankie. I spent an hour pouring out my soul and crying like a child, to which the detective said…
…”Sorry, it’s too late. You waited too long.”
I waited too long?
What on earth does that mean? How does that make sense? How can a child be held to some legal standards for the crimes of an adult who commits atrocities against them. I felt as if I were being raped all over again.
But it’s a tragic fact in Georgia and MOST EVERY STATE in the USA. They are called Statute of Limitation Laws and instead of protecting the victims, in cases of child sex crimes, they serve only to protect predators.
So right now, in a rare moment in time, YOU have the ability to MAKE HISTORY. And not just in Georgia. If you help this bill get passed into law, it will pave the way for all of the other states to do the same thing, to finally bring justice for victims of the most heinous crime that can be committed against a child.
For those of you who might be reading this blog for the first time I want to assure you of something that regular readers already know – I do NOT deal in hyperbole, so please hear me when I say this cannot be overstated – this bill could be the MOST IMPORTANT BILL EVER in the lives of EVERY Georgian 53 or younger who has suffered from the trauma’s associated with Childhood Sexual Abuse or has a loved one who has.
Rep. Spencer went on to say, “Both criminal prosecution and civil actions are significant ways which validate the survivor and expose the truth to the public. With the recent 2012 criminal justice reform proposals removing the criminal SOL on child sexual abuse cases, coupled with the civil reforms in the Georgia “Hidden Predator Act,” child sexual predators will have a difficult time hiding in Georgia.
As a result, the priority will be to extend real justice to victims instead of enabling monsters to continue to prey on societies most vulnerable. Georgia’s children and families need and deserve the Hidden Predator Act. This reform is a stern warning to child sexual predators: don’t tread on Georgia’s children.”
For more than 30 years Frankie has been allowed to go from church to church, city to city, unencumbered by anything that would prevent him from molesting and raping more little boys. All because of an archaic law championed only by those who seek to hide the monsters in their midst for fear of litigation like the Roman Catholic Church is currently undergoing for protecting pedophiles for decades, even centuries.
Please become OUR champion. Become OUR hero and help us catch those who have killed our childhood, our souls and in too many cases, our lives.
Please help bring these monsters to justice and send a message to predators everywhere by getting the “Hidden Predator Act” passed. Send the message that we will NOT allow them to hide behind outdated laws. Let them know they WILL pay for their crimes.
If you are a resident of Georgia or you know someone who is, go here to find their or your Representative.
By simply taking a few minutes to click on a link and send an email or make a call, you CAN make a difference. Not only in our lives, but untold numbers of those who will be protected in the future by your actions today.
Help us to stop the enabling of monsters who continue to prey on societies most vulnerable. As Rep. Spencer said, “Georgia’s children and families need and deserve the Hidden Predator Act.”
The following article was written by Rachel Stockman and posted on the WSB-TV website.
“More than a dozen victims came out in support of a new Georgia bill which would extend the statute of limitations in civil court for child sexual abuse victims to 35 years.
This would allow victims to file claims against their attackers until they are 53 years old. Current law bars claims that are filed after a victim is 23 years old.
“We are here under this dome- seeking justice in House Bill 17 to extend the statute of limitations on civil statute so the courtroom doors can be open for the survivors of child sexual abuse,” said Angela Williams, a rape victim, and founder of Voice Today, an advocacy group. Williams says it often takes years — even decades, for victims to come forward.
The “Hidden Predator Act” would also open more investigative records, and would add a two-year window for revival of claims for victims.
“These folks are locked out of the courts and justice is absolutely denied,” said Rep. Jason Spencer (R – Woodbine). Spencer is sponsoring HB 17.
“Georgia is one of the five worst states in country: if you are over the age of 23 you are out of luck,” said Marci Hamilton, a professor of the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York City.”
Please, PLEASE, PLEASE, do something most of us never do…Call or Email your local representative and let them know they MUST VOTE YES for House Bill 17. And if necessary, let them know in the language only a few understand, tell them if they don’t vote yes, you’ll elect someone who will.
Think of it this way, if your child, or the child of someone who is close to you were the victim of murder and that child’s perpetrator were allowed to walk free for 20-30 years, then one day the government said to you, “If you want, we can finally bring your child’s murderer to justice.”
What would you do?
This is where we are at. You have the ability to make history and save lives. Please don’t turn a blind eye today, not now when we are so close. Do you want to protect children or continue allowing pedophiles to get away with murder? The future is in our hands.
Below are the names of the state representatives who have this bill in their Committee. Please call them and request that they MOVE IT OUT OF COMMITTEE and BRING IT TO THE FLOOR FOR A VOTE OF YES IN ITS ORIGINAL LANGUAGE.
R – Sandy Springs
R – Harlem
R – Blairsville
R – Atlanta
D – Atlanta
Johnnie Caldwell, Jr.
R – Thomaston
D – Smyrna
R – Brookhaven
D – Atlanta
R – Cedartown
D – Fayetteville
R – Bonaire
Mary Margaret Oliver
D – Decatur
R – Camilla
R – McDonough
D – Decatur
Andrew J. Welch
R – McDonough
R – Ringgold
R – Smyrna
R – Atlanta
Original location of Rachel Stockman’s article:
Original location of Rep. Spencer’s article:
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