Kol V’Oz advocacy at work in New York

August 14, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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A year’s grace has to come into effect today allowing victims of child sexual abuse to sue their abuser irrespective of the year of the offence.

Manny ‘waks

It is a provision within the Child Victims’ Act which came into effect in February ths year.

The CEO of the Israeli based Kol V’Oz is Manny Waks who hails from Melbourne who told J-Wire his organisation played a pivotal role in the provision of the Act.

He said: “I am delighted that victims and survivors of child sexual abuse will finally have the opportunity to obtain some semblance of justice.

Often, victims and survivors feel an incredible sense of guilt, shame and a range of other emotions, which forces them into silence regarding their abuse, and has a significant detrimental impact on them (and their families) in various ways – the positive effect of having their abuse acknowledged by a legal entity should not be underestimated.

And financial compensation is also an important element – it is both a recognition of the pain and suffering they have been forced to endure, often for decades, and a tangible way to compensate them for their predicaments that emanated from the abuse, often also as a result of institutional negligence.

This will no doubt assist many victims and survivors in their healing process.

“While the Child Victims’ Act is a most welcome and positive development, our position remains that there should be no statute of limitations with any sexual crimes against children.

While, of course, everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence and deserves a fair judicial hearing – and the burden of proof should always meet the appropriate legal standards – it is also inappropriate and wrong to prevent justice from being pursued at any stage, due merely to a technicality, a piece of legislation that states that once a certain period arrives, it’s too late to hold an individual or an institution to account.

The fact is, based on a significant body of evidence, for various reasons, it often takes decades for victims of child sexual abuse to disclose such crimes. Therefore, these types of crimes should be handled differently to other crimes.

The statute of limitations also endangers children, as there are many sex offenders roaming freely on our streets because they cannot be charged.

It is important to note that there are currently no statute of limitations in several countries such as in the United Kingdom and in Australia.

I encourage everyone who feels they can pursue some semblance of justice to do so, and to obtain proper legal advice.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the many people involved in ensuring this day would come.”

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