South Dakota State Capitol
Published February 15, 2018
PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA – The South Dakota Judiciary Committee voted on Tuesday, February 13, to reject legislation that would have allowed victims of childhood sexual abuse at Indian boarding shcools to file lawsuits against organizations, such as churches and schools.
The 4-3 vote is a set back for American Indians victims who suffered sexual abuse and now want compensation for the suffering they experienced as the result of the trauma.
Though disappointed by the decision, Barbara Dahlen, who was among nine sisters who unsuccessfully sued over alleged sexual abuse at a South Dakota Indian boarding school, says the group “will not be silenced.”
The legislation would have created a three-year period for victims of sexual abuse to file claims that barred and repealed a provision banning sexual abuse victims 40 and older from seeking damages from individuals or oganizations other than the actual abuser.