The long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse can be devastating to victims. The psychological scars can run deep. Many victims are in search of some type of closure to help them heal. Holding abusers, and the institutions that enable them, accountable for their actions can go a long way toward helping the healing process. The Child Victims Act can help survivors get the justice they deserve.
Child Victims Act
Signed into law in February of 2019, the Child Victims Act brings new hope to the survivors of childhood sexual abuse in New York. The law allows individuals who were sexually abused as children to seek compensation and justice against their abusers and the institutions that protected and enabled the abusers. In some cases, justice can be sought decades after the abuse happened, which as an essential part of the law. Many victims don’t come forward about their abuse until many years have passed.
The Child Victims Act provides survivors who seek to file a claim against private or public institutions the opportunity to do so even if their claim is time-barred. There is a window for bringing time-barred claims. This is known as the lookback period, and it was extended to August 13, 2021. During the lookback period, claims can be brought regardless of the age of the survivor now.
After the lookback period has expired, survivors have the right to bring a claim against an abuser or an institution until they are 55 years old. It also increases the amount of time in which abusers can be prosecuted criminally to when the survivor is 28 years old. This extension in the statute of limitations is crucial as it gives survivors time to come to terms with coming forward.
One of the unique characteristics of childhood sexual abuse cases is that the abuse occurred in secret. Victims are often too young or too frightened to speak out. Evidence can be difficult to obtain. Survivors sometimes seek therapy, and after decades of hard work, may make the decision to come forward. Missing the opportunity to pursue justice due to the statute of limitations can be devastating. With the help of the Child Victims Act, more abusers and enabling institutions can be held accountable for their actions.
Contact a Child Victims Act Attorney
Thousands of abuse survivors have come forward since the Child Victims Act was signed into law. If you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, the attorneys at Bonina & Bonina, P.C., want to help. We have over 50 years of experience helping the injured and have been at the forefront of Child Victims Act litigation. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.