Posted May 07, 2013 @ 06:34 PM
Crime victims seek new laws on legal options
"Recalling painful memories of crimes that occurred years ago, survivors and their family members asked lawmakers to do away with the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse and to increase penalties for certain types of rape.
“I think it’s my fault because I didn’t scream or yell for help. I had Lifeline and I didn’t push the button. I was frozen, numb. I couldn’t speak. Why didn’t I yell? What could I have done to stop him? Why did it hurt so much?” Lisa Flint, of North Attleborough, a woman whose speech and movements are limited by cerebral palsy and who was raped in college, told lawmakers. She said, “This is what my world has been like since May 15, 2000. I ache for some kind of peace within. I have something he wasn’t powerful enough to take and that is hope. I hope someday I can make a difference for someone else.”
Accompanying Flint before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, Rep. Elizabeth Poirier (R-North Attleborough) said she has known Flint since she was a child and said her rapist was sentenced to 20 years, making him eligible for release after 15. Poirier and Flint support legislation (H 1568) that would allow for life sentences for those convicted of raping people with disabilities.
“It is an aggravating circumstance, and should be recognized as such under the law,” Poirier said.
Others testified that they were victims of rape at a young age, and their lives since then have been akin to prison sentences, with no possibility of release.
“There are days when I look up at the sky and I say how much longer,” said Kelly Quinn, who runs the organization Strong and Supported. Quinn’s voice quavered as she testified that the violent rape she experienced as a child had “destroyed every facet of my life.” She said, “I ask, ‘How much longer do I have to endure this existence?”
The Judiciary Committee also heard testimony from those seeking to extend or do away with the statute of limitations for child sex abuse, laws that prevent people from bringing criminal charges or civil lawsuits after a certain period of time."