End Rape SOL Rally. Saturday, November 21, 2015 on Hollywood, CA. at Bill Cosby’s Star.
End Rape SOL Rally. Saturday, November 21, 2015 on Hollywood, CA. at Bill Cosby’s Star. Videotape by Yvette Sotello and Susan Sexton.
End the Rape Statute of Limitations (ERSOL) Campaign
COSBY SURVIVORS RALLY AT COSBY’S STAR
TO ABOLISH THE TIME LIMIT ON RAPE PROSECUTION
Cosby survivors will join the End Rape Statute of Limitations (ERSOL) campaign for a public rally on Saturday, November 21st at noon at Bill Cosby’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Cosby’s star is located on Hollywood Blvd. and N. Orange Drive, one block west of Highland Avenue, across from the Chinese Theater.
The purpose of this rally is to call for state legislators and the governor to overturn the statute of limitations on rape/sexual assault in California. The current time limit is 10 years, which means that rape victims who come forward later cannot get b. Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) will sponsor legislation to abolish the statute of limitations in California this upcoming legislative session, and this rally is in support of her efforts.
It is vital that we abolish the statute of limitations for rape/sexual assault because it often takes years for victims to report this crime due to fear of retaliation, stigma, and victim blaming. This is a serious crime and victims should be able to report it whenever they feel comfortable doing so.
Many states have already abolished their time limit on prosecuting rape, including Alabama, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia. It is high time that the most progressive state in the union get on the right side of history with this issue.
Several women who were victimized by Bill Cosby will be speaking at the event, as well as representatives from ERSOL, the National Organization for Women, Faculty Against Rape, the National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles, and the Stonewall Democratic Club.
For Cosby survivor Lili Bernard, overturning the statute of limitations for rape hits close to home. “Rape and sexual assault are violations that take a long time to report. Survivors have to find the strength to shed the fear of retaliation from the perpetrator, and brave the inevitable blaming and the shaming from others. Rape is such a heinous crime that it shouldn’t matter how much time has passed, if the victim has credible witnesses and evidence.”
According to Ivy Bottini, lifelong organizer and founder of ERSOL, “Enough is enough. I have spent a lifetime hearing about women who have been raped and sexually assaulted. I decided to put ERSOL together because so many women are now coming forward to report rapes and cannot get justice. Justice must not have a time limit.”
“Survivors of sexual violence rarely come forward to the police,” says Alexa Schwartz, NCJW/LA Program Assistant and 2014 USC graduate. “So when we make that brave step, it is unjust that the law stands in the way because too much time has passed for some of us.”
Campus anti-rape activist Dr. Caroline Heldman is part of the ERSOL campaign because the statute of limitations affects all survivors. “It is preposterous that there’s no time limit on prosecuting embezzlement of public funds, but there’s a time limit on prosecuting rape. We need to take rape more seriously as a crime, and overturning the statute of limitations is an important step in that direction.”