Draft bill to remove time-bar for abuse survivors published
A draft bill which removes a barrier on survivors who were abused as children seeking civil damages in court has been published.
The Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill would remove the three-year time limit, also known as “time-bar”, on survivors, who were abused on or after 26th of September 1964, seeking damages in the civil court.
The draft legislation is part of the Scottish government’s “wider commitment” to adult survivors of child abuse to fulfil the recommendations of the Scottish Human Rights Commission Inter-action plan.
Consultation with survivors, supporters and other groups has helped to shape the draft bill which will remove the three year limitation period for all cases of child abuse irrespective of where abuse took place. The draft bill also sets out circumstances for cases that have not succeeded in court due to the time bar being applied to be raised again.
Legal affairs minister Paul Wheelhouse, unveiled the draft bill at a visit to the Moira Anderson Foundation in Airdrie today where he met survivors and volunteers. One of the survivors he met was actor, Dr MatthewMcVarish, who walked 10,000 miles around Europe to raise awareness of child abuse issues.
Before the publication of the draft bill the minister met with a number of the key representatives of survivor groups to explain how their input into the consultation informed the draft bill and to get their initial views.
Mr Wheelhouse said: “We intend to take forward or support this legislation in the next Scottish Parliament and we will now seek feedback on the draft bill prior to introduction.
“I would like to thank all survivors and their supporters whose views helped us to shape this bill. I know how difficult it has been for many to reopen such difficult memories to help shape our understanding and my colleagues and I are extremely grateful for the insight that survivors have shared with us.
“We will continue to engage with survivors as the bill progresses through Parliament to ensure their views are considered at each and every step. We also welcome the views of other interested parties throughout the process that will unfold.”
Sandra Brown OBE, founder of the Moira Anderson Foundation, said: “We greatly welcome and congratulate the Scottish Government for their commitment to removing time bar. We see the draft bill, as well as the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, as huge steps forward for survivors of child abuse.”
Dr McVarish said: “The abolition of this limitation is long overdue but another positive step by the Scottish government in supporting our many survivors and recognising the immeasurable impact sexual abuse in childhood has on individuals, well into their adult life.” found here