I vårt land er det varierende foreldesesfrist for overgrep mot barn og unge, etter hvor alvorlig overgrepet er, men ofte er det (hos oss og i andre land) 10 år etter at personen fyller 18. I Den katolske Kirke er dette også hovedregelen, men Kirken åpner for å sette til side alle aldersgrenser ved behov. I USA ble foreldesesfristen utvidet dramatisk for katolske prester etter de store avsløringene i 2002, og nå vurderer staten New York også å utvide fristen for anklager mot lærere og andre statsansatte til 40 år – men denne utvidelsen skal gjelde bare for ett år, deretter skal den vanlige 10-årsregelen gjelde igjen. I New York planla man å gjøre denne forandrinegn i fjor, men mange opplevde dette så dramatisk at det ble utsatt til i år:
… Legislation introduced to suspend the statute of limitations in claims against Catholic clergy was, “after much debate”, amended last year to include governments and their employees. They would be liable in lawsuits stretching back nearly six decades.
Suddenly, lobbyists and advocates for school boards, counties and small towns spoke out.
“Statutes of limitation exist for a reason,” said Bob Lowry, the deputy director of the New York State Council of School Superintendents. “How can anyone go back 40 years and ascertain what happened? Witnesses, responsible authorities, even the perpetrator himself or herself, may have passed away.”
And suddenly, this is not a “scandal” about benighted and devious institutions trying to save face and money. No. Jim Dwyer writes:
It is a collision of powerful civic values: the need to provide justice to people who were outrageously injured as children and manipulated into silence, and the duty of courts to decide cases based on reliable evidence.
The bill was not voted on last year (as no doubt it would have been had the Catholic Church only been at risk) but it, and a companion bill, are before the legislature again, says the Times. They would provide a one-year window for filing lawsuits that go back 40 years. Once that window had closed, the statute of limitations would run 10 years after a child turns 18. …
Mer om dette hos mercatornet.com.