SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A bill aimed at giving child sex abuse victims more time to take legal action against their abusers is not expected to make it to the Senate this session.

“I thought it was very important to support these now adult children who had such a horrific thing happen to them,” Representative Brian Seitz said. He serves Taney County.

Current Missouri law states a victim of child sex abuse can take legal action against their abuser within ten years of turning 21. HB 367 would extend the time a victim can file damages.

“That bill would increase the statute of limitations by ten years, raising it from age 31 to age 41, giving the victim a greater amount of time to come to terms with their sexual abuse and to pursue regress in the civil court,” Seitz said.

For one victim’s sister, she said the ten-year window to file impacted her own brother.

“My brother was abused at Kanakuk camps,” Elizabeth Phillips said. “He was forced into civil litigation because of the statute of limitations in Missouri. He was not really ready psychologically to pursue that civil litigation.”

Phillips said her brother was forced to relive his trauma, resulting in him taking his own life.

“I call it another form of rape,” Phillips said.

House lawmakers voted unanimously to pass HB 367 150-0 on May 5.

“On average, it takes an adult male to age 55 just to come to terms with what happened to him as a child and start to heal from that,” Seitz said. “I want to give them more time to seek, go after damages and things like that in a civil court.”

With the session ending Friday and pushback from the Missouri Insurance Coalition, the bill’s sponsor said it won’t get across the finish line.

“The difficulty is we have a top-down power structure here in the Capitol and we are dominated by large powerful lobby groups,” Seitz said. “If this bill would have ran, say, in February or March, we could have gotten it across the line this year.”

Seitz plans to refile the legislation for the next session and expects it will get bipartisan support again.

“I think the House of Representatives and probably the Senate understand the importance of this legislation,” Seitz said.