As I write this, the PA legislative session is coming to an end. And, despite the work of many in these last moments, PA HB 1947 will die at the end of this session.
To all those who wrote letters and emails, made phone calls, made visits to Harrisburg to tell your stories and why HB 1947 was a long overdue partial answer to ensuring justice for all victims- past, present and future- we here at FACSA say thank you, thank you, thank you.
We especially thank Rep. Mark Rozzi and his staff who have worked tirelessly on this issue for the last 4 years. A special thanks to Pam Oddo, executive assistant to Rep. Mark Rozzi.
While the provisions of HB 1947 that we supported did not pass our legislature, we at FACSA can say (as supporters of #SOLReform for more than a decade) this has been a banner year for advocates of #SOLReform on several fronts:
- For the first time here in PA a legislative body heard and responded to the call for a law that would provide some level of justice for victims of child sex abuse. That effort was spearheaded by one of our heroes- Rep. Mark Rozzi;
- PA Governor Tom Wolf stated he would sign the bill if it passed the House and Senate;
- All PA legislators heard again and again about the need for #SOLReform from victims and supporters from all over the state;
- The state’s Office of the Attorney General courageously continues to search out the truth about past abuses and coverups by conducting statewide grand jury investigations into several Roman Catholic archdioceses. No other state AG’s offices have ever done this. Ever.
- More victims found the courage to come forward, tell their stories and to seek help, hope and healing;
- More advocates/ advocacy organizations joined the fight for justice for adult victims of child sex abuse;
- More editorial boards supported SOL Reform;
- More print, online and TV media coverage of the need for #SOLReform added to the education of the public on a complex issue at best, and one not easily understood;
- The battle made national news more than once.
While it is time to take a break for a bit to recharge- know the battle will be taken up again in the new year, in the new legislative session.