ALBANY, NEW YORK – According to an online news article published by pix11.com, New York’s Child Victims Act will take effect this week, providing a one-year window for adult survivors of child sex abuse to file lawsuits against abusers and negligent institutions.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act into law in February 2019, which dictates that 6 months after passage of the law, victims of child sex abuse will have a chance to hold their abusers and any negligent institutions (such as churches) accountable.
Now that the 6-month mark has been reached, adult survivors of child sex abuse will have a 1-year window to file lawsuits against their abusers and any institutions, such as churches, schools, and other organizations that may be to blame, at least in part, for the abuse. These victims can benefit from the 1-year window regardless of when the abuse happened.
For example, whether the abuse took place 5 years ago, 10 years ago, or even 20 years ago, adult survivors will have an opportunity to seek justice for a 1-year period following the law’s passage. As such, these victims will have until August of 2020 to pursue legal action.
The purpose of the Child Victims Act is to allow victims to seek justice even if they never spoke up while the abuse was going on or shortly after the abuse stopped. Many victims of abuse are afraid to come forward for a variety of reasons, whether it is fear of further abuse or fear that their allegations will not be believed or taking seriously, among other reasons. The Child Victims Act allows these victims to “reclaim their dignity.”
Now that the Child Victims Act has taken effect, it is expected that the lawsuits will start piling up against former abusers, many of which have held positions of power, such as the now-deceased Jeffrey Epstein.
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