If you’re reading this, you’ve likely signed the petition to pass the Omnibus Child Victims Act, which would remove statutes of limitations (SOL) for child sexual abuse. In doing so, this critical bill keeps children safe by ensuring their abusers get on sex offender registries, and off the streets.
You’re also likely expecting this to be the typical thanks-for-joining-the-fight note.
It’s not. Because more than sharing our gratitude, we want to share how and why this petition has the very real potential to change history.
Most of us are only vaguely aware of the ins and outs of politics. We sign a petition, feel good, assume it gets voted on at some point, and hope the vote goes our way. What actually happens is far more complicated – and corrupt.
Before a bill even goes to the legislative floor for a vote, it going through various committees, any one of which could kill it. This makes it easy for the public to lose track of issues, and for politicians to pay lip service in public, yet quietly vote against it months later.
Which is precisely what’s been happening for nearly 10 years. Each year, rallies are held, survivors give heart-wrenching speeches, politicians nod sympathetically, and then vote against changing SOL laws.
Since appealing to their sense of justice and humanity hasn’t worked, we’re now speaking to politicians in a language they understand: re-election.
In June, adult child sexual abuse survivor Gary Greenberg founded a PAC with $150,000 of his own pension money to ensure this bill gets passed. Short for Political Action Committee, PACs are so powerful because they can raise and spend money to elect or defeat candidates, and that’s exactly what we are doing. We are targeting the incumbent politicians who have repeatedly voted against reforms, and instead elect politicians with a proven track record of supporting and understanding measures that keep kids safe.
The stakes are simply too high not too. For Gary, by the time he had processed the trauma and was comfortable coming forward, the time limit had expired (which in New York state is a mere 23 years old), and his abuser had molested 300 other kids. His situation isn’t unique; it’s faced by million of Americans. Is it any wonder the FBI and CDC both report that 1 in every 5 children experiences sexual abuse?
New York is a known swing state when it comes to setting the country’s agenda. If other states see that a successful PAC campaign ousted incumbent politicians, they’ll sit up, pay attention, and start voting differently lest the same thing happen to them.
This is where you come in.
To make sure this happens, we need to collectively keep a spotlight on specific politicians who are blocking reform, and rally around those who can bring true social change to New York – and in turn, the rest of the country.
One such rally is happening tomorrow, Wednesday August 18th, to support the candidacy of Ali Boak, a long-time warrior against child exploitation and a supporter of the Omnibus Child Victim’s Act. Please join us in Mount Kisco at Mount Kisco City at 1 pm and RSVP via Facebook.
You can learn where your elected officials stand on this bill here. If you want to send your elected officials a note about how important this is to you, you can find their contact information here. You can donate money to this revolutionary PAC (even $10 helps) by clicking here. And you can sign up here for updates on our progress and more ways you can help.
We’ll be posting updates and events like these weekly on the blog, so please help keep this issue in the spotlight by following the progress of the Omnibus Child Victim’s Act.
Onward and upward!