HB 1618 Passed by the House

Mar 3, 2023 | Firm News, Sexual Abuse

HB 1618, the bill removing the statute of limitations for childhood sex abuse, has passed the House and is on to the Senate.

“This bill is about protecting children,” said bill sponsor Rep. Darya Farivar. “Sexual abuse is very often under-reported . . . and unfortunately, our legal system has been known to let down survivors who do seek justice.”

Previously, former PCVA client Courtney Butler testified in support of HB 1618. PCVA attorneys Darrell Cochran, Chris Love and Bridget Grotz helped Courtney secure a $7.5 million settlement against the club last year, but the club tried to get the suit thrown out based on current Washington State law. Current state law only allows child sex abuse victims to take civil action for three years after they make the connection between the abuse and the harm it caused.

“We see motions to throw out child sexual abuse claims virtually every week,” said Darrell.

During her testimony, Courtney urged lawmakers to remove this statute of limitations to help other victims begin healing. “I am begging you to please support this bill so that other victims can come forward and start the healing process that all of us deserve to have,” she said.

Courtney abandoned her passion for soccer and turned to drugs and self-harm to cope with the shame, self-hatred, depression and anxiety she faced after she was raped by her Black Hills Football Club (BHFC) coach in 2005.

The trauma caused by sexual abuse does not just go away. Neither should the rights of victims to seek justice.

“It’s important to hear that red states and blue states have concluded that statute of limitations reform is not a blue issue and it is not a red issue,” said Chris. “Child sexual abuse is an issue that affects one out of every four girls and one out of every six boys – period.”

Hear more from Courtney in this story broadcasted by King 5.

You can learn more about the importance of HB 1618 and what PCVA is doing to help change the statute of limitations regarding child sex abuse in this video: