NJCASA: Camden Diocese Proposal Will Violate Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights

Camden Diocese of the Catholic Church seeks to counter 2019 law, shorten timeline for survivors to file civil claims


Lawrenceville, N.J. – Regarding attempts by the Camden Diocese of the Catholic Church to shorten the window for survivors to file civil claims related to sexual assault, the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s Executive Director Patricia Teffenhart offers the following comment:

“Preserving the rights of survivors of sexual violence is at the very core of our work. If enacted, the Camden Diocese’s request to shorten the timeframe for survivors to file civil claims will run counter to that goal by violating survivors’ rights and causing them further harm. This proposal would create an inequitable situation where some survivors in N.J. would have until November 2021 to file claims, while those filing a claim against the Camden Diocese would only have until the end of next month – all based solely on where the person who harmed them was working at the time of the assault. NJCASA strongly opposes this plan and hopes to see the rights of survivors affirmed by the court.”

The New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA) successfully advocated for N.J.’s landmark civil statute of limitations reform in 2019. With the recognition that many survivors – particularly those who experience child sexual abuse – delay reporting, NJCASA fought to widen pathways to justice for all survivors by expanding the civil statute of limitations and creating a one-time, two-year window to bring forward lawsuits that were time-barred under the previous statute of limitations. Learn more about N.J.’s civil statute of limitations here.

ABOUT NJCASA: NJCASA (www.njcasa.org) is the statewide advocacy and capacity building organization that represents the twenty-one county-based rape crisis centers, and the Rutgers University – New Brunswick Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance. NJCASA elevates the voice of sexual violence survivors and service providers by advocating for survivor-centered legislation, training allied professionals, and supporting statewide prevention strategies that work to address and defy the socio-cultural norms that permit and promote rape culture.