GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. –
169 laws from the 2021 Legislative Session have either been partially or fully signed into effect.
Among those is the child sexual abuse accountability act, that will offer victims an extended amount of time to sue institutions, if those institutions knew about, or hid the abuse that occurred during a youth-related program or activity.
This act will support any victim of sexual abuse, if the abuse occurred between the year, 1960 and the present. Victims will now have three years to file a claim against an organization that took part in covering up the victims abuse.
One of the law’s sponsors is from the Western Slope and believes victims deserve an opportunity to make their case in court.
“This is something no other state has done, it is the first in the Nation,” Matt Soper, Colorado State Representative said, “We are hoping we can seal this chapter once and for all here in Colorado to hold this organizations accountable for that cover up.”
The Center for Children, a child sexual abuse support group in the county, believes in supporting victims by hosting several events around Mesa County.
The Center for Children met for a charity luncheon, for an uplifting environment meant to celebrate survivors, and educate attendees about the center’s involvement in the county, while spreading awareness.
One spokesperson spoke of her personal abuse experience and shares why events like this are important in Mesa County.
“There’s a lot of reasons, one obviously this is a fundraising event and it supports the community, but also educationally,” Margaret Hoelzer, National Children’s Advocacy said, “It lets the community know what services are available, what’s going on. It helps protect children, hopefully educates people so that they are going into their community, their homes, their schools, their churches and they are protecting their own kids and educating other parents so they know the signs and what to look for as well.”