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Governor Wolf Urges Legislature to Continue Progress for Victims of Crime and Abuse

October 01, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf issued the following statement on the upcoming week of legislative sessions, which follows a week of movement on bills important to victims:

“Last week, both statute of limitations reform and domestic abuser gun violence prevention bills advanced in the House. This is welcome progress and I urge the Senate to follow suit and get these bills to my desk without hesitation.

“However, many bills still need to advance to ensure the legislature can complete its work for victims before this session expires. I urge the House and Senate to continue making progress on victim reforms related to human trafficking, gun violence, sexual harassment, campus sexual assault and hazing.

“Pennsylvania has a strong track record of supporting and protecting victims and I hope both chambers will do the right thing and pass these reforms before their sessions expire.”

Two weeks ago, Governor Wolf issued a call to action for victims and outlined his priorities for the end of the legislative session, including:

  • Child Sexual Abuse: Governor Wolf has urged action on the four recommendations of the statewide grand jury into clergy sexual abuse that would eliminate the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse and allow for survivors of child sexual abuse to file civil claims against their abusers and the institutions that enabled them.
  • Domestic Violence: Since 2017, Governor Wolf has pushed for a package of bipartisan Senate bills to combat domestic violence and protect survivors. Only one bill has reached his desk.
  • Sexual Assault: Governor Wolf unveiled a bipartisan “It’s On Us” legislative package in September 2017. These bills focus on empowering and protecting victims of sexual assault, especially on college and high school campuses.
  • Gun Violence: Governor Wolf has supported many bills to reduce violence and protect individuals from becoming victims of gun crimes, including taking guns more swiftly from domestic abusers and creating a new red-flag emergency order to keep guns away from dangerous individuals.
  • Sexual Harassment: Governor Wolf and legislative Democrats introduced nearly two dozen bills to combat sexual harassment and improve treatment of victims. None of them received a vote with House Republicans who opted instead to further study the issue.
  • Hate Crimes and Discrimination: Members of the LGBTQ community in Pennsylvania lack protections from discrimination and hate crimes, which means victims have inadequate recourse in the face of violence and discrimination. Governor Wolf has supported protecting all Pennsylvanians since taking office and will work for protections of the LGBTQ community.
  • Human Trafficking: Governor Wolf supports Senator Greenleaf’s SB 554, Safe Harbor legislation to protect the child victims of human trafficking from being prosecuted for crimes they were forced to commit. The bill awaits action in the House.
  • Hazing: Governor Wolf has long-supported the Pennsylvania Timothy J. Piazza Law to give law enforcement the tools they need to hold people accountable and we must ensure schools have proper safeguards to protect students and curb these practices. The bill awaits action in the House.
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