STATEMENT OF LT. GOVERNOR GRAY IN RECOGNITION AND SUPPORT OF ‘THE VOICES OF ST. JOSEPH’S ORPHANAGE’
Montpelier, Vt—Today, Lt. Governor Gray released the following statement in recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and the Vermont Senate’s action on S.99, an act that would repeal the statute of limitations on childhood physical abuse in civil actions:
“Today, I want to recognize the former residents of St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Burlington who have come together as the The Voices of St. Joseph’s Orphanage to advocate for justice for Vermont victims of childhood physical abuse.
Over the last two years these former residents have stepped forward with bravery and compassion to share their experiences as former children placed at the St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Burlington. They have united in a restorative justice process—The St. Joseph’s Restorative Inquiry— aimed at understanding and documenting the tragic events that occurred at the Orphanage and seeking accountability, amends-making, learning and change for responsible institutions.
I was honored yesterday to join the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services in proclaiming the week of April 18-24 Crime Victims’ Rights Week and in honoring The Voices of St. Joseph’s Orphanage in their receipt of a well-deserved award for turning their experiences into activism.
As a result of their efforts, today the Vermont Senate approved for third reading, S.99 an act which would repeal the statute of limitations on childhood physical abuse in civil actions for victims in Vermont. This legislation is a small, but important step in supporting pathways of accountability for perpetrators of childhood abuse and supporting recourse for victims whose trauma and healing lasts long after the abuse.
I want to express my deepest support and compassion for The Voices of the St. Joseph’s Orphanage for their advocacy and leadership. Your efforts have my every support.”