NewsLocal News

Actions

SLO County leaders hold call-to-action event in honor of National Crime Victims’ Rights Awareness Month

district attorney county of san luis obispo
Posted at 8:59 PM, Apr 17, 2023

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office honored National Crimes Victims’ Rights Awareness Month with a Call-to-Action event Monday morning at the Veteran’s Hall in San Luis Obispo.

Those in attendance were witnesses to presentations from District Attorney Dan Dow, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Commander Chad Nicholson, Jennifer Adams of Lumina Alliance, Jessica Yates of the Christopher G. Money Victim Witness Assistance Center, and victim speaker Brittany Barber.

“I wanted to be a voice because there was a case against my abuser,” Barber said. “There were women involved in the case against my abuser that had the cases against him thrown out for them because it was past the statute of limitations.”

Barber and five other sexual assault survivors abused by her perpetrator came forward with their testimonies, finding her father guilty of sexual abuse.

“Childhood sexual assault and sexual assault are crimes that people don’t want to talk about. They don’t want to hear about it. It's uncomfortable. It's awkward and it's shameful and that is one of the big reasons people stay silent too.”

After presentations, members of the Board of Supervisors, city mayors, Assemblymember Dawn Addis, Senator John Laird, county government department heads, and public attendees were given the chance to speak with keynote speaker Barber and Lumina Alliance CEO Jennifer Adams to collaborate on how to better serve and help victims of sexual assault.

The extension of the statute of limitations for prosecuting felony sexual assault and domestic violence from five years to 15 years was at the forefront of the topic of conversation.

A statute of limitations sets the maximum amount of time parties involved in a dispute must initiate legal proceedings, thus limiting the amount of time a victim must bring legal action against the assaulter.

District Attorney Dan Dow encouraged those involved in the event to reach out to assemblymembers and senators to support SB 690, a bill that extends the statute of limitations for prosecuting felony cases of domestic violence from five years to 15 years.

Dow’s call-to-action goal also includes California joining seven states that have no statute of limitations for all felony sex crimes. Those seven states are Maryland. Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Wyoming.

The Chief Executive Officer at Lumina Alliance had a message for those who attended the event when a survivor comes to you with their story.

“If someone tells you they’ve been sexually assaulted or they’re being abused by someone, it's most important to say I believe you, it's not your fault, and there is help available,” Jennifer Adams said.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from sexual assault, dial the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

If you are interested in signing either the Call-to-Action letter to increase the statute of limitation for domestic violence cases, a Call-To-Action letter to eliminate the statute of limitations for all felony sex offenses, or more visit https://linktr.ee/slo_da .