The Child Victims Act serves as recognition that the prior statute of limitations in childhood sexual abuse cases helps abusers avoid accountability. It is not surprising then that institutions such as the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America oppose at least portions of the bill. These institutions have faced serious accusations that they were aware of rampant abuse at the hands of their members and employees and failed to do enough to protect survivors.
Many victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests were precluded from seeking compensation from the church as the result of the prior statute of limitations. The one-year look-back window that is part of the Child Victim Act may open up the church to numerous lawsuits relating to abuse that took place decades ago. The Catholic League has come out strong against the look-back provision of the bill, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan has called it toxic and implied that it was aimed specifically at the church.
In an opinion piece in the Daily News, Cardinal Dolan agreed that reform was needed but called for reform that would help survivors heal without “breaking government, educational, health, welfare, religious organizations, and institutions.” It is offensive for the Cardinal to believe that the goal of survivors is to “break” these institutions rather than the reality that they are seeking to hold institutions accountable for their actions.
Boy Scouts of America
After evidence came to lightof a pattern on the part of the Boy Scouts of America to cover up sexual abuse by its volunteers, the organization faced a number of lawsuits by survivors. Not surprisingly, the organization has lobbied in New York, and other states, in opposition to the Child Victims Act and other similar bills. Like the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts of America specifically opposes the look-back provision in the Child Victims Act, fearing an onslaught of lawsuits stemming from abuse that took place decades ago. In hiring lobbyists to oppose a bill that would help victims, the Boy Scouts of America has shown callousness towards the survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you have been the victim of childhood sexual abuse, it is important that you consult with an experienced and trusted attorney as soon as possible. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers, and we want to help you. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Se habla español.