I am a 47 year-old survivor of child sexual abuse at the hands of my father.

As a graduate student in Human Development and Social Policy at the University of Utah, I studied the statutes of limitation, also known as the legal time limits, survivors of child sexual abuse have for getting to court for the harm done to them by their abuser(s). In my case, Utah state law says that I have just four years from the time of the abuse to get to court, in other words, I had until I was 13 years-old.

As part of my master’s degree project, I had the great privilege of testifying as a survivor of child sexual abuse, during the 2015 Utah state legislative session on behalf of HB277. This bill proposed that survivors of child sexual abuse going forward, would have no limits to get to civil court. In other words, they could have all the time they needed to heal, in order to get to court. (Utah eliminated the time limits for survivors to get to criminal court, in 2008). The bill passed- and I decided to start Talk to a Survivor.

Talk to a Survivor seeks to normalize and demystify who survivors are, what they look like, what it’s like to be one. We wear buttons at related public events, to develop an ever larger community of survivors to foster resiliency and advocate for change to policies that help prevent sexual violence.

See us. To talk with us. Learn from us.

Yours in advocacy-

DeAnn