ATLANTA (March 8, 2016) | Sen. Renee Unterman (R – Buford) was honored with the Voice of Gratitude award on March 5, 2016, for her work to end child sexual abuse. Her work was recognized by Voice Today at the organization’s annual Legacy Ball, which was held this year at the Georgia Aquarium. Sen. Unterman was one of five individuals honored with the award.
“Child exploitation and sexual abuse is a devastating problem that must continue to be diligently and urgently addressed. Although I am very proud of what has been accomplished in recent years, there is still much work to be done. We need to stand up for those who are scared and without a voice,” said Sen. Unterman.
Sen. Unterman was specifically recognized for her work on the House Bill 17, also known as the “Hidden Predator Act,” which passed the Georgia General Assembly in 2015. The legislation extended the statute of limitations for civil action against a childhood sexual predator until the day following the victim’s 23rd birthday, or after two years following the victim’s discovery of abuse. Previously, the statute of limitations ended on the victim’s 18th birthday. The legislation also states that an organization may be liable for abuse committed by an employee or volunteer and allows victims to access evidence that may be used in civil proceedings, if the criminal case has been closed. Sen. Unterman was the Senate sponsor of HB 17, which was authored by Rep. Jason Spencer (R – Woodbine).
Other individuals honored with the Voice of Gratitude Award include Rep. Spencer, Rep. Greg Morris (R – Vidalia), Sen. Tommie Williams (R – Lyons) and Marci Hamilton.
Voice Today is a Georgia-based organization that advocates for the prevention of childhood sexual abuse and the protection of victims’ rights both in Georgia and nationally. For more information, visitwww.voicetoday.org.