LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) - Larry Nassar survivors pushing for protections against sexual abuse via a package of bills were met with resistance Tuesday as lawmakers raised concerns.
Survivors warn if state lawmakers do nothing to combat sexual abuse it could be a life or death situation for some.
"More and more survivors will not find the justice that they need for their healing and I fear that more survivors will turn to drug abuse and alcohol abuse and even suicide. We can't let our children do that," said survivor Sterling Riethman.
But the package has raised concerns in the medical community, the Catholic Church and others that new reporting requirements will cause more problems and some claim making the penalties retroactive is unconstitutional.
"We already have a case in Michigan on point that defeats this claim. There are no concerns about the constitutionality of this legislation," said survivor Rachael Denhollander.
They are calling on lawmakers to protect the legal rights of sexual abuse victims by giving them more time to file lawsuits.
"We find ourselves at the top of a list we don't want to on as we rank among the states leading the nation in providing protective environments for predators to thrive and the worse environment for survivors to find justice," said survivor Sterling Riethman.
But one Detroit lawmaker dismisses the bill package as pandering.
"It's illogical. It is not going to produce any results," said State Rep. Rose Mary Robinson (D-Detroit).
Penn State officials report that after the Jerry Sandusky child abuse case, lawmakers imposed more stringent reporting requirement on those cases allegedly resulted in clogging the system and even worse.
"There were more child deaths, there were less productive services because they started investigating certain claims that weren't even necessarily valid," said Committee Chairman State Rep. Klint Kesto.
But survivor Rachael Denhollander says that's not what the data bares out in states that passed new statue of limitations reform.
She says it's a smoke screen.
"We'll just have to see, won't we," Kesto said.
There will be more testimony from survivors Wednesday and a possible committee vote in a week or two.