Opportunity to Provide Testimony about PA Statute of Limitations
Press Release September 11, 2019
Press Contact: Susan Mathias, Transitions, 570-523-1134.
Transitions of PA is informing victims/survivors of sexual assault in Northumberland, Union, and Snyder Counties of an opportunity to provide testimony to the PA Senate Judiciary Committee about the importance of changing the state’s statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the maximum time after an event for an individual to bring legal proceedings. Transitions is working with the Office of the Victim Advocate to inform people about the opportunity to tell lawmakers about how sexual abuse has impacted their lives and why it is important to provide as much time as possible to victims to seek legal remedies.
Transitions of PA knows it is normal for victims to keep what was done to them a secret, and understands victims often wait months or years to tell others about being sexually assaulted. We regularly help people who have waited, and we see this repeatedly in media coverage of cases too. For example, more than 60 women have publicly shared their experiences of being drugged and sexually assaulted by comedian Bill Cosby over the course of several decades. However, because the statutes of limitations – laws that set a time limit for legal action after a crime - only a handful of them were able to pursue damages in civil court and only two were able to seek criminal charges.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on October 2 at the Capitol in Harrisburg. Victims/survivors of sexual assault who would like to provide written testimony to be considered at that hearing must submit it in writing by September 20, 2019. Testimony may be submitted anonymously. Testimony is welcomed from anyone – victims/survivors do not need to have attempted legal actions or sought help in any way after being sexually assaulted.
We understand that revisiting experiences of sexual assault can be very upsetting, and know that providing testimony about the emotional and psychological impact, the physical impact, and the financial impact may stir many difficult feelings. Transitions is available to help anyone through this process and can be reached 24 hours a day at 800-850-7948. Additionally, Victim Assistance Coordinators at the Office of Victim Assistance can be contacted directly at 800-563-6399.
So many victims we work with say that they decided to come forward in hope that sharing their experience might help someone else get help too, or even try to protect others from being hurt in the same way. Our hope is that victims/survivors in Snyder, Union and Northumberland counties who feel this way will use their voices and experiences to tell legislators how laws should be changed to meet the needs of sexual assault victims.
You can submit testimony by using web-based forms. Please go to to link to the forms. Information about the three bills being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee can also be found on Transitions’ website.