WE THE PEOPLE. Many states allow state and local ballot measures, which include: initiatives, referendums, bond measures and constitutional amendments – through legislation or petition – as part of a dynamic democratic system. It gives advocates the ability to advance their mission, bypass the legislative process and take the vote directly to the electorate on a single political issue.
While some lawmakers propose repealing either the criminal or civil SOLs, RISE advocates repealing BOTH, which is absolutely viable. Multiple states have already done so and many more are in action. RISE will begin the process in California in 2016.
THE PROCESS. Getting initiatives on the ballot is daunting, and funding is crucial. It consists of four phases and costs several million dollars. Phase 1 involves a statewide survey and market research with focus groups to validate the viability of the action. Phase 2 involves drafting an extremely well-crafted measure and submitting it to the Attorney General’s office for approval. Phase 3 involves gathering 500,000+ valid registered voter signatures. When all three phases are completed within the allotted time, the measure will be considered ‘qualified’ and placed on the ballot in the upcoming election. Phase 4 involves initiating a public relations and marketing campaign to educate and inform the general public about the ballot measure and encourage everyone to vote YES to repeal the SOLs as they pertain to child sex abuse.
PASSAGE. It ultimately comes down to the collective will of the voters to change the system, since the very people that we’ve been trusting to lobby our state legislators to protect our children – like churches (all denominations), insurance companies, teachers and their unions, as well as civil rights groups – have actually been working against child sex abuse victims by aggressively opposing all manner of SOL reform. They believe that repealing the civil SOLs would put their perpetual sources of revenue, personal liability, professional reputations and collective assets on the line. A risk they fear that is far too great to accept without a fight.
These groups will not stop at the passage of the legislation. In fact, they will redouble their efforts through the courts, because they know that once a ballot measure has been enacted, its constitutionality, or the interpretation of its provisions can still be challenged.
JOIN US. Your support is greatly needed and appreciated. First and foremost, being fully funded by the end of January 2016 is essential to achieving passage in California. Next, generating a statewide grassroots awareness campaign is imperative. And last, but not least, inspiring the general public to vote resoundingly is going to take a huge concerted community organizing effort! One we know that we cannot do alone.
It is estimated that 300,000 children – the population of Anaheim – are sexually abused EVERY YEAR in the United States, which is why RISE is prepared to go state by state repealing the criminal and civil statutes of limitations until all 50 states have repealed the SOLs for child sexual abuse.
BY LAW. RISE is a 501(c)3. Any donations provided through this website are tax deductible and will be used to fund expenses necessary to lay the groundwork for upcoming ballot initiatives. Beginning in 2015, donations specifically for funding ballot initiatives will be accepted by an independent 501(c)4. To receive timely notifications as to when those contributions can be submitted, sign up for our newsletter.