We first blogged about the Child’s Victim Act earlier this year, and its gained momentum. In case you don’t know what it is, and how it’s a game changer for victims of sexual assault, we’ll fill you in. The Child Victim’s Act aims to make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice as adults. Governor Cuomo has made it a top priority to get the legislation passed for 2019. So what exactly does this mean?
The passage of the Child Victim’s Act would give child sex abuse survivors more time to bring civil and criminal cases against their attackers. Cuomo’s proposal would allow survivors to bring civil cases up to 50 years after an attack and would eliminate the statute of limitations entirely for any felony sexual offense committed against someone under the age of 18.
Under current law, a victim has until their 23rd birthday to bring cases against institutions.
Cuomo’s plan would also treat public and private institutions the same when it comes to child sex abuse and create a one-year window to revive old cases and file a lawsuit. That provision is something extremely opposed by groups like the Catholic Church.
We see in recent news headlines how difficult it is for adults to come forward when it comes to sexual assault, now imagine how hard that must be for a child. It’s no surprise that a vast majority of people who were sexually abused as children never report it. Sometimes it takes years, and often decades, to recognize what happened to them, and be brave enough to tell someone. The trauma leads to higher rates of alcoholism and drug abuse, depression, suicide and other physical and psychological problems that are very costly to treat. The offenders and the institutions that cover for them should be held accountable.
Attorney Neal Goldstein weighs in on what it would mean if the new law passes: “If this legislation becomes law, it would help victims who were too young to fully understand the crimes committed against them bring claims against their abusers. The law would pave the way to move forward with claims against the church, private schools, doctors or any individual they claim sexually assaulted them, even if considerable time has passed. To be able to sue your attacker 50 years after the assault or abuse would help many who realized the damage done later in life.” At Goldstein and Bashner we are here to help those who suffered such horrible acts. We know nothing will completely take away the pain you’ve endured but we believe seeking justice will help. You may be entitled to monetary compensation that could help pay medical bills, psychiatric bills, and make up for lost wages due to how the abuse affected your life. Call us for a free confidential consultation at 516-222-4000.