New York Passes ‘Historic’ Child Victims Act
Many who were sexually abused as children can now sue their abuser after the "historic" passage of the Child Victims Act.
On Monday, lawmakers in New York State unanimously passed the Child Victims Act.
“We can no longer deny the truth. Child sexual abuse happened everywhere. It happened here in New York. For years, New York’s broken statute of limitations has denied survivors of child sexual abuse their opportunity to seek justice. People in power across the state said this wasn't a real issue. It was someone else's problem, not our own. It happened someplace else, not here. It was just a few isolated cases, not a widespread epidemic," Senator Brad Hoylman (D/WF-Manhattan) said in a statement.
The bill will extend New York’s statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse and create a one-year window for survivors to start a claim against their abusers in cases where the statute of limitations has expired.
“Passage of the Child Victims Act is an exhilarating and empowering moment for those of us who have been waging this battle in Albany for a dozen years," Stephen Jiminez, survivor and advocate, said in a press release. "This has happened because of the unflinching efforts of survivors, advocates, and organizations statewide that refused to be intimidated by powerful politicians and institutions.”
The Child Victims Act allows sex abuse survivors to take legal action through age 55, the current cutoff was 23. There's also a one-year revival window for victims of any age to sue over alleged sex abuse that may have taken place decades earlier.
State lawmakers have debated the bill for years. It previously passed the Assembly by wide margins in 2017 and 2018 but stalled in the State Senate. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to quickly sign the bill.
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