POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - POLITICS

New law

Sexual abuse: longer statute of limitations sought



The minister of justice explained yesterday that she was “tackling the statute of limitations”. Photo: Anthony Dehez / archives

The minister of justice explained yesterday that she was “tackling the statute of limitations”. Photo: Anthony Dehez / archives

The current statute of limitations for sexual abuse is ten years, but Justice Minister Sam Tanson (déi Gréng) and the CSV agree that it should be considerably extended.

The very sensitive issue of sexual abuse was discussed in the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday, at the insistence of Nancy Arendt (CSV). She said that for many years she has been committed to a more effective fight against sexual abuse. And yesterday she spoke at length on the subject.

Her party, the CSV, has introduced a bill to extend the statute of limitations. Currently, in Luxembourg, the statute of limitations is ten years after the victim has reached the age of adulthood. In practice, this means that a victim abused as a minor must report the crime before turning 28. The CSV would like to extend this period to 30 years, meaning that a such a victim could file a complaint up to the age of 48.

A substantial extension, or abolishing the time limit altogether

On this serious issue, a consensus seems to be emerging between the government and the opposition. Sam Tanson (déi Gréng), the minister of justice, confirmed before parliament that she was “tackling the statute of limitations” and working on a bill that is not yet finalised but which will include “a substantial extension, or even a lifting of the statute of limitations” for such acts of sexual abuse. She added: “It is essential to give victims this right. And the alleged perpetrators must know that they are at risk.”

In her presentation, Nancy Arendt pointed out (with figures) that, in Luxembourg, “the police deal with a case of sexual abuse or serious offences against minors almost every day.”

This article was originally published in French on Paperjam.lu. It has been translated and edited for Delano.