CBS 17 by Brea Hollingsworth 

Congresswoman Deborah Ross introducing new legislation to support survivors of child sex abuse through bankruptcy reform.

The Closing Bankruptcy Loopholes for Child Predators Act is a bipartisan bill that addresses the misuse of the bankruptcy system by organizations facing lawsuits for child sex abuse. 

Ross worked on the bill with Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney of New York. She introduced the bill Thursday along with Marci Hamilton, CEO of Child USA. 

Ross says due to the extension of statutes of limitations for child sex abuse some organizations have faced many lawsuits from people who were abused as kids.

These organizations often end up filing for bankruptcy, which allows them to stop discovery, in turn, silencing survivors. Some of the organizations mentioned were the Boy Scouts of America and USA Gymnastics. 

“Loopholes in our bankruptcy system have allowed these organizations to receive the full consequences of long-standing abuse negligence at the expense of victims and this is not how our justice system is supposed to work,” said Rep. Ross. 

Some sex abuse victims also spoke out at Thursday’s press conference.

Doug Kennedy said his abuser was allowed to have a multi-decade career as a teacher and private tutor for children. 

“This legislation is so incredibly critical for survivors. It alters a bankruptcy process that quite frankly has been perverted for the benefit of the organizations that have harbored those who’ve abused us,” said Kennedy. 

The bill will allow sex abuse victims to continue working on discovery during bankruptcy proceedings. It will also allow them to send impact statements and require forensic accountants to assess the debtors’ estate in hopes of allowing victims to receive fair remedies.