INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — One in three women and one in four men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
On Tuesday, two Indiana lawmakers introduced a bill that would extend the statute of limitations on crimes of rape and child exploitation.
Joy Ryder’s youth pastor raped her in 1978.
“You just go off somewhere in your mind and wait until it’s over,” Ryder said Tuesday.
She was just 15 years old at the time.
“We didn’t talk about this kind of thing back then,” Ryder explained. “Especially growing up in the church, you didn’t talk about stuff like this.”
Tuesday, she and state lawmakers raised their voices in support of Senate Bill 109, which would extend the statute of limitations on rape crimes and child exploitation.
Right now, the law says charges for most sex crimes against children have to be filed by the time the victim turns 31.
The new bill would make exceptions for three reasons: “the discovery of DNA, with a confession, or with the discovery of some type of recording that prosecutors can use to file a case,” State Sen. Michael Crider, a Republican from Greenfield, explained Tuesday.
“The initiative behind this bill is that we don’t want it to ever be too late for victims to get justice,” said State Sen. Erin Houchin, a Republican from Salem.
The bill got a committee hearing Tuesday morning.
“We are so excited that this bill is getting hearing, but we do stand in partnership with the people up here to say it’s not exactly where we needed to be yet,” Tracey Horth Krueger, the executive director of the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault & Human Trafficking, explained Tuesday.
“It’s important that law enforcement and prosecutors have more time and have the ability to be able to move forward on cases when there is enough evidence,” Camille Cooper, the vice president of Public Policy for RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
Back in 2015, Sen. Michael Crider’s bill, “Jenny’s Law” became law. It provides the same exemptions for rape but focuses on adults.
This bill expands that law. Ryder feels like this current bill might bring some hope to survivors.
“I think every victim needs the hope of justice in their life,” Ryder explained.
The bill passed out of committee this morning. It now heads to the Senate floor for a second reading. Crider tells News 8 that could happen as soon as Thursday.