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New York State's Archaic Rape Statutes of Limitations Ignites Jane Doe No More

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Statutes of Limitations are a criminals best friend. In recent high profile cases such as convicted rapist and actor Bill Cosby, many victims from New York State have been denied the opportunity to seek justice due to statutes.

In a recent piece, the New York Times Magazine explores whether or not the statute of limitations on rape cases should be abolished. 

The subject of the piece is Donna Palomba, who was raped in her own home in 1993.  After the police failed to get her justice, because they decided that she was lying to cover up an affair, she was lost.  It wasn't until 11 years later, a new officer reopened her case and they had a suspect who matched her attacker...but the statute of limitations had passed.


Op/Ed: Adding My Voice and Story to the Many Who Were Once Silenced by Violence


As a result of her experience, Donna started her non profit, Jane Doe No More.  She wants other victims to be able to find a safe place to go.  Where re-victimization is not a reality and they work to prevent sexual violence and re-victimization through education, awareness, advocacy and support.

What sets Jane Doe No More apart is that it is born out of personal experience and they have been building a vocal, vibrant and visible survivor community over the past decade. They are a voice for the voiceless.  

About Jane Doe and Donna

Jane Doe No More Inc., was born of my experience as a victim of sexual assault.

In 1993, I was brutally raped by a masked intruder in my own home; my young children were asleep down the hall, my husband was away for the first time during our marriage. Like most victims of crime, I placed my faith in the system created to "protect and serve" the innocent. I called 911, and trusted that my perpetrator would be sought and caught.

In the weeks and months following my assault, I was re-victimized by the very system put in place to protect and serve me -- an innocent victim. On top of the pain and suffering associated with the crime, the abuse afterward rendered my healing all the more difficult.

My amazing family, my supportive friends, a few members of law enforcement, and legal professionals who believed in me worked together to bring about an amazing turn of events: despite a perpetrator in disguise, no fingerprints, no photographs and no forensic evidence other than DNA, my assailant was identified and arrested eleven years after my assault.

The law enforcement officials from Waterbury, Connecticut who abused me were found negligent in a civil trial in January 2001 and my perpetrator identified through a DNA match; he was a repeat offender who is now in prison following his guilty plea to numerous charges in Connecticut and New York. He was sentenced in my case in October 2006.

Meet Jane Doe No More

I am Jane Doe no more; I am Donna Palomba. It is my decision to come forward to break the social stigmas associated with this misunderstood crime and help other victims heal. I believe we learn most from our greatest challenges and I want to share what I have learned.


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Yes, I am a victim, but I am also a survivor and I have gone on to have a wonderful life both personally and professionally and look forward to a bright future. Learn more about my story; my mission is to end the silence surrounding sexual assault, thereby improving the way society responds to all survivors of this horrific crime. I have assembled a team of extraordinary individuals working toward this goal. Learn more about our team now. We are a vocal, vibrant, and visible community.

For more information: https://www.janedoenomore.org/

 

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