The Texas legislature passed House Bill 3809, a law that doubles the time-limit for survivors of sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits.
It will give survivors of sexual abuse up to 30 years to file a civil lawsuit against their abusers and the institutions that enabled abuse, doubling the time-limit from the current 15-year threshold.
The House initially exempted churches and nonprofits from the 30-year statute of limitations, but the Senate agreed to include the provision after hearing testimony from sex assault victims.
The Senate re-introduced a provision allowing lawsuits targeting “culpable entities,” which includes organizations like the Catholic Church and nonprofits like the Boy Scouts of America.
Lawmakers heard testimony from several people who were abused, including three gymnasts who were victimized by Larry Nassar, the convicted ex-doctor for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team.
The women argued that allowing survivors to file lawsuits against institutions will give those institutions a much stronger incentive to stop abusers and intervene.