Advocates for the Scout's Honor Law in Ohio wait for state senators to pass the measure
The Ohio Senate is expected to vote on what's known as The Scout's Honor Law. Ohio House lawmakers passed the measure last week.
It's designed to abolish Ohio's civil statute of limitations, which ends at age 30 for victims of sexual abuse, in the event of bankruptcy settlements in cases like the ones involving the The Boy Scouts of America.
Chris Graham is an advocate for the law and a survivor of sexual abuse.
Graham says it's worth the effort. "Millions of people across the globe have come forward as victims of child sexual abuse,” he says. “And the shocking thing is that the average age they come forward is 52 years old.”
Graham is not a part of the Boy Scout cases.
The Scout's Honor Law will ensure that survivors in Ohio will get 100% of their settlement rather than 30 to 45%. In a bankruptcy settlement, the Boy Scouts of America set aside nearly $3 billion for more than 82,000 sexual abuse survivors. About 1,911 of the survivors are in Ohio.
Graham says even after the Senate vote, more work is needed in the state.
"What we need to do is, we need to, one at a time, piecemeal fix the problems that we have in Ohio,” says Graham. “And this bill, the Scout's Honor Law, is the first big step in addressing some of the issues that we have with sexual abuse survivors and pedophiles here in the state of Ohio."
Graham says the passage of the law by Senate members will contribute to the healing of survivors.
“When Ohio comes together in our legislatures, the true grown-ups, if you will, in the state of Ohio, acknowledge what happened to these survivors as children,” says Graham. “The emotional impact. It is beyond measure.”