Four lawmakers in New York are proposing legislation that would provide financial support for victims of child sexual abuse. The proposed bill would be a supplementary measure to the Child Victims Act, which was instituted in early 2019.
The Child Victim Foundation Fund would find backing through two sources: an optional state income tax return donation to the fund, and a supplemental child victim fine to those convicted of sex crimes against children.
This proposal was introduced in response to a common complaint with the Child Victims Act: some victims could not seek justice because they are unable to afford an attorney. Others could not find lawyers to represent their case if they were not suing larger, wealthier institutions such as school districts, youth organizations, or the Catholic Church.
Currently, the bill is co-sponsored in the Senate and will be introduced into the state Assembly when state legislature returns in January of 2020.
The Child Victims Act (CVA), signed into law February of 2019, extended the statute of limitations, allowing victims of sexual abuse more time to file lawsuits or seek criminal charges against abusers. Originally, victims had until age 28 to press charges against their abuser for felony child sex abuse crimes, but the CVA extended the limitations to pursue charges until age 55.
An additional stipulation under the CVA allowed victims of child sex abuse a one-year ‘look-back’ provision to file a lawsuit against their perpetrators, beginning August 2019. Since then, many advocates found that victims could not find attorneys who would take on cases against neighbors, family members, deceased offenders, or anyone without a large asset basis.
The new legislation is attempting to rectify the one-year look-back clause by giving financial backing to victims who wish to pursue legal action against abusers within the limited timeframe. The fund is expected to be discussed further during the state budget negotiations in March 2020.
With the changing legislation, there will soon be funds in place for those who want to pursue legal action against an abuser. In tandem with the CVA, the bill encourages residents of New York to hold child sex abusers accountable for their heinous crimes by providing victims financial backing from the Child Victim Foundation Fund.
If you or someone you love is thinking about pressing charges against a person, business, or institution for childhood sexual abuse, it could be beneficial for you to reach out to our knowledgeable legal counsel.
At Goldstein & Bashner, we have extensive experience in dealing with New York Law and compassionate attorneys eager to help you reach a favorable end to your case. We have helped many victims of child sexual abuse receive legal recognition of the difficulties inflicted upon them, as well as recovered monetary compensation for their emotional and physical injuries. If you want someone on your side, contact our firm to talk to an experienced attorney today.