Thomas Brennan 0

Olivia's Law

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Sexual assault is a crime that is devastating and life altering. The emotional confusion and aftermath experienced by a victim of a sexul assault can manifest a number of obstacles delaying or possibly eliminating the process of healing. When victims of sexual assault are children the process of healing becomes their childhood. When a crime of this magnitude is committed against a child, someone who cannot defend themselve. We must fight for them. If we allow the perpetrators of child sexual abuse to continue to prey on the children of New York State, we are not only failing the children, but condoning the actions of these pedophiles. Due to the high number of unreported cases and the effect on the victims quality of life, it has become very apparent that the current laws of New York State pertaining to child sexual abuse are glaringly inadequate and unable to address the many legal and ethical issues that exist. The typical child sexual offender molests an average of 117 children. Most children who are victims of sexual abuse know their abuser; this violation of trust developes into an inability to trust leading to another unreported crime. Also the post traumatic stress that occurs from being repeatedly abused in childhood can result in disassociation, preventing memories from being integrated into consciousness and resulting in a total denial of the abuse. This coping mechanism may lead to an altered sense of self and extend into adulthood. Many victims suffer from long term psychological disturbances and in extreme cases may develope a multiple personality disorder. Once the disassociation or post-traumatic stress disorder developes treatment becomes very difficult and the victims resistant. Many times only as an adult can the survivors of child sexual assult recognize having been abused, confront their abuser and take action. What has become painfully known is that New York State ststue needs significant modifications to address the many issues pertaining to child sexual assault. The legislation will punish those who perpetrate this crime as well as those who would hinder prosecution and provide a forum whereby survivors of these horrific crimes truly realize that the law is on their side by giving them the opportunity for justice and closure. That is why we need your signature to tell our New York State Lawmakers to modify our laws pertaining to sexual abuse, and to enact Olivia's Law.


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