Chinese lawmakers are proposing that the country relax the time limit for minor victims of sexual assault to sue their offenders.
On Oct. 31, when the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress undertook the second review of China's civil law draft, the committee added a provision that minor victims of sexual assault be able to sue offenders as late as one year after they turn 18.
Under the current law, these victims can only file a lawsuit within one year after the assault was perpetrated, forcing them to rely on their guardians to file the case. However, as legal expert and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences member Liang Huixing noted, some Chinese parents are too embarrassed and ashamed to seek legal help. Thus, the draft proposes to enable minors to independently seek justice and compensation after they become adults.
Legal expert Liu Changsong also called to add a provision stipulating a fixed compensation for such victims, even if evidence was lost over time. He said the sexual assault law can use copyright law as a model. For instance, even if the financial loss of a plaintiff in a copyright case can't be definitively proven to be caused by patent infringement, the court can still order the defendant to pay a fixed settlement of up to 500,000 RMB. This same measure can be applied to sexual assault cases, Liu believes.