Victims and Advocates Seek Reform for Child Sex-Abuse LawMay 12, 2016
A strong show of support was made in Albany on May 3 and 4 in a two-day lobbying effort to win passage of a bill extending the statute of limitations on civil claims that involve child sex-abuse victims. The current law limits the time victims have to bring charges against a molester. A victim must come forward before the age of 23 to bring criminal or civil charges against their abuser, reports the Daily News.
"Governor Cuomo and leaders in the Assembly and state Senate need to hear from you right now. Tell them they should support the Child Victims Act," said Assemblywoman Margaret Markey. The long-time advocate of the reform added that letters, e-mails and phone calls would "reinforce the good work" of dozens of supporters who lobbied lawmakers about the bill last week, according to the Daily News.
A coalition of over 130 Jewish leaders are now backing the Child Victims Act, according to an extensive report noted on the Kings Country Politics website. "After decades of denial, cover ups and darkness across New York State, light is finally being shone on the scourge of child sexual abuse," read the petition signed by scores of high-profile leaders, The Jewish Voice reports.
The 23-year-old age limit is among the smallest windows in the country for victims to come forward. New York City lags behind states like Georgia, Massachusetts, Florida and Utah, all of which have passed bills in the last few years that increased the time victims have to bring their cases to court.
During Pope Francis’ 2015 visit to the U.S., he stated, "The crimes and sins of the sexual abuse of children must no longer be held in secret." He pledged a "zealous vigilance" and "the promise of accountability for all." The Pope added a stern message to legislators in Washington, that must also be heeded in Albany: "You are the face of the people…called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good," the Daily News reports.