Bill to cancel statute of limitations for some sex crimes passes preliminary reading

Knesset approves amendment for committee debate without objections; Labor MK who spearheaded bill thanks victim who recently shared story of abuse at hands of her brother

An illustrative photo of a prison. (Photo credit: YouTube screen capture)
An illustrative photo of a prison. (Photo credit: YouTube screen capture)

In a rare show of unity, the Knesset on Wednesday unanimously approved a preliminary reading of a bill to cancel the statute of limitations for certain sex offenses, including those committed against minors.

The amendment, put forward by Labor MK Efrat Rayten and others, was supported by 40 lawmakers across government and opposition lines without abstentions or votes against it, and will now advance to a legislative committee discussion.

“The proposed amendment is intended to express the legislature’s recognition of the inherent and objective difficulties faced by victims when they come to report the harm they experienced, usually after many years,” the explanation for the proposal read.

The proposal is founded on the idea that there is a great public interest in the prosecution of sexual offenses due to the weight of such crimes and the burden victims carry after the fact, the explanation read.

“Unlike other crimes, such as property crimes or bribery crimes, many times the consequences of sexual assault are not temporary, and the punishment for those crimes should be determined accordingly,” it added, noting that victims should not have to live their life while their abuser walks free and remains a danger.

There were no further details given on exactly which crimes would be covered by the bill.

Rayten tweeted her thanks to Hila Tzur for her help in advancing the bill. Tzur, 51, spoke out recently on Channel 13’s “Makor” program about being raped by her brother from when she was four years old until 19.

“Justice must be done and shown, and we start today,” Rayten wrote.

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