HONOLULU - Last week, House Bill 18 passed the House Judiciary Committee. The bill pushes to repeal statutory limitations on the time that a childhood sexual-abuse survivor can seek justice against the perpetrator through civil action. 

If passed, HB 18 will allow sexually abused children legal protection during, or even after entering into adulthood. 

Hawaii law currently requires a sexually abused child to come forward and file a lawsuit against the perpetrator, within eight years after turning 18-years-old. Current Hawaii law also limits survivors to only three years, or 36 months, to begin taking legal action upon discovering that a psychological injury or illness in their adulthood was caused due to the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. 

"Children who are sexually abused and threatened into submission can't be expected to enter adulthood and suddenly be equipped by age 26 to take on the magnitude of a legal case against a family member or adult," said Representative Cynthia Thielen, who introduced the bill.

Former Hawaii resident Sheryl Hauk was recently featured on national TV newscasts to share her story. Hauk says she was sexually abused in Hawaii from age three to 18 by a family member. 

Hauk learned of Hawaii's statue of limitations when she began her journey towards justice for what she endured. This lead her to Michigan, a state where no time limits on childhood sexual-abuse crimes exist.  

Other states have already eliminated statue of limitations for all felony sex crimes. These states include: Kentucky, Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.