Wednesday, 25 September 2019
Two members on opposite sides of the federal parliament have announced that they want to work together to abolish the statute of limitations for sexual abuse of minors.
On Wednesday, centre-right Valerie Van Peel (N-VA) and leader of the socialist party John Crombez (SP.A) have prepared a legislative proposal, that they will file as a priority in the Chamber Commission of Justice. Child abuse is, more than other crimes, a crime that only comes up many years later, resulting in the perpetrator often going free, Van Peel and Crombez said, reports VRT NWS.
The statute of limitation for sexual abuse of minors is currently 15 years in Belgium, but many victims take years before they are ready to tell their story. “Partly due to that limitation period, too many perpetrators go free and feel untouchable,” said Van Peel, who testified of her own abuse two years ago.
Van Peel and Crombez point out that the abuse often does not stop with one victim. “Offenders often go further and further,” they added according to Het Nieuwsblad.
“Party politics do not play a role here. This is something we can accomplish together,” they said, asking all other parties to back their proposal.
“Slachtoffers van kindermisdrijven moeten een veilige omgeving hebben om bewijsmateriaal te verzamelen. Daar mag geen termijn op kleven. Daders moeten makkelijker kunnen worden veroordeeld. Om het even op welk moment”, @johncrombez @radio1be
— sp.a (@sp_a) September 25, 2019
Translation of tweet: “Victims of sexual abuse as a child should have a safe environment to gather evidence in. There should not be a deadline. Perpetrators must be more easily convicted. At any time.”
The Brussels Times