For four years Asma Mohammed worked to end the Minnesota statute of limitations for sexual assault. Earlier this month, the statute was lifted.
Earlier this month, the Minnesota criminal statute of limitations on sexual assault was lifted. Prior to the new law, Minnesota residents had six years to report an incident.
Asma Mohammed, one of the women who fought for the change, said she still has a hard time processing it.
“What happened with me is I could never report, because the time had passed,” she explained. “But I have students, I have so many people I love, and now they have the opportunity to report if something happens to them.”
Many victims of sexual assault are traumatized into silence. It can take years for them to share the experience even with close friends and family, let alone the justice system.
Mohammed, the Advocacy Director for the non-profit RISE, began to challenge the six year statute in 2016 with fellow survivor Sarah Super, the founder of Break the Silence. The process took 4 years, but according to Mohammed, it was all worth it.
“We have people that need to be protected by the law and have not in the past,” she said. “The law protected perpetrators in the past, and now it’s hopefully going to serve us and serve some healing.”
Mohammed, who is of South Asian descent, says speaking publicly about sexual assault is still frowned upon in her community. She says listening without judgement is the first step to supporting survivors of sexual assault.
“What I want for every survivor that comes forward and shares their story is a lot of grace, a lot of understanding around how hard it is, just the experience of sharing your story, how difficult that can be,” said Mohammed. “And the bravery it takes, I want that bravery acknowledged.”
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