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Child Abuse Civil Actions

November 24, 1986

Just who is the state really looking out for by restricting child abuse and incest victims from bringing civil actions against parents after the age of 19? The age limit is by far much too young. Before the age of 19, many children are very afraid and intimidated by their parents and are unable to make a stand for themselves.

I am sure, when in this situation, a victim's No. 1 priority is to just get out and get away in hopes of leading a happy and normal life. But for some, this pursuit is unsuccessful, like in Nancy Lozito's case, reported in The Times article (Nov. 12), "Limits Law on Incest Challenged by ACLU."

After continuous failures in life and eventually connecting them with the terrible past, it is all too late and victims are left helpless. This kind of suffering does not end with being away from the person causing the pain, but is kept with the victims for the rest of their lives. These permanent scars do not miraculously disappear after the age of 19.

I strongly agree with American Civil Liberties Union attorney Susan McGreivy. The theory "delayed discovery" should be well considered in situations as these. I realize that the age limit is for the sake of preventing plausible lawsuits. But with such a restriction, is it not defeating its purpose, protection of rights?

DEBORAH LUCERO

La Verne

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