Briggs hopes new legislation will encourage more victims of childhood sexual abuse to come forward.
Miles Briggs, Lothian Conservative MSP, is hoping that new legislation ending the three-year limit on survivors of childhood abuse being able to sue for damages will encourage more victims to come forward. Miles was one of the Conservative speakers in today’s Stage 3 Parliamentary debate on Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Bill where he backed the ending of the time bar but also warned that the courts system needed to be adequately resourced in response to any increase in cases.
Speaking in the debate Miles said:
“ This Bill will I hope help send a clear message that our Parliament and Government want to do all we can to support the victims of childhood sexual abuse and I am confident it can and will make a real difference to many survivors as they look to take forward court action.
“ Childhood abuse is incredibly difficult for people to revisit and to talk about – at any stage in their lives. However, it is vital that we send out the message that any victim who has suffered abuse will be listened to and supported when they decide to come forward.
“ It is very important that survivors of childhood sexual abuse who do indeed decide to take forward civil claims do not then face unacceptable delays due to a lack of resource in the court system.
“ It is right that this Parliament removes the three-year limitation or time barrier so that the survivors of child abuse will no longer have to undertake the additional and potentially very difficult task of persuading a court to overrule the limitation period. The number and potential complexity of additional cases will inevitably lead to resource implications for our courts and we need to recognise this. I would therefore urge Ministers to keep this subject under very close review and to be ready to take the necessary action required to ensure that our courts system is always appropriately resourced and supported.”