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Some experts are wary of the treatment sought by accused sexual abusers like Kevin Spacey or Harvey Weinstein. Video provided by Newsy Newslook
“I’m sorry” is not enough.
As the allegations mount from women — and men — across America in industries ranging from filmmaking to media, I don’t want to hear another person say, “I did it but it was the 70s” or “I’m sorry but I was drunk” or “I thought she wanted it even though she was crying and fighting.”
Only 17 states nationwide, including California, have no statute of limitations on reporting adult sexual assaults. A statute of limitation sets the maximum amount of time after an event that the event must be reported to authorities. Michigan is one of 33 states that have some limitations. In Michigan, for instance, no statute limits the amount of time for reporting a first-degree sexual assault if the crime happened after the law was changed in 2001. But there are limits for other sexual assault crimes.
That means the painful silence that some women — and some men — lived in may prevent their predators from being charged in state courts.
So here’s some advice for President Donald Trump: Rather than throwing anything and everything against the wall — and tweeting anything and everything about it — to distract us from Russiagate and your associates being charged with crimes against America, consider calling for all states to change their laws. Yes, it will be hard, because you stand as one of those accused. But your Teflon has been holding, and you might do some good.
And here is advice for all state officials: Heed the warning you’ve been hearing from women since the Women’s March in January. We’re sick and tired, and we’re not going to take it anymore.
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This is no longer just a Hollywood problem, although the human dominoes are falling faster there. It also is no longer just a women’s problem, as more men rise up to reveal the behavior of predators.
The dam has burst, the charges are coming as if in a hailstorm now, and each day brings news about alleged predators or more allegations against those already named.
I can’t see a Twitter post with a man’s face pop up now without thinking: Is this another one?
But what makes me angrier than the painful silence victims had to endure is how easily alleged perpetrators are dismissing their behavior, taking the Roman Polanski route to self-help by escaping to Europe and seeking help for being monsters.
Europe should treat them like Trump wants to treat refugees: Send them back home.
Yes, Mr. President, there is a Santa Claus who is providing you an opportunity to do more than release the Kennedy files or latch onto a heartbreaking New York terrorist attack, whose outcome your tweets may harm. Focus on that. Tweet that.
And to every governor and legislator across America: Now is the time to change the law. It doesn’t matter how long it takes a woman — or a man — to reveal a crime. It is still a crime. And since some of the criminals are confessing — and apologizing — they are making your job easy.
There should be no statute of limitations on stealing someone’s humanity and violating someone’s civil rights.
Contact Rochelle Riley: email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @rochelleriley. Listen to her radio show 6-7 p.m. weekdays on Detroit 910AM Radio Superstation and at . Order her book “The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery” (Wayne State University Press, 2018) from Wayne State University.
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