New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to Include Child Victims Act in 2019 Executive Budget
PARKER WAICHMAN LLP – REPRESENTING VICTIMS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
All victims of sexual abuse suffer physical and emotional pain, but such suffering is often worse for children who fall victim to sexual abuse. New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, has been pushing to implement new legislation that will hold the perpetrators of child sexual abuse accountable for their conduct, and help victims have an easier path to seeking justice. In a recent announcement, Governor Cuomo stated that New York’s Child Victims Act will be included in the 2019 executive budget, helping to implement much-needed changes to the existing laws. Governor Cuomo had pushback from some members of New York’s legislature but has fought to ensure victims of child sex abuse will no longer be limited in their ability to fight for their rights.
Victims of Child Sexual Abuse Will Now Have More Time to Come Forward
Before enactment of the revised Child Victims Act, victims of child sexual abuse had no more than five (5) years from the act of abuse to come forward and seek to hold the perpetrator of the sexual abuse accountable. With the new laws under the Child Victims Act, victims of child sexual abuse will have a substantial amount of time to come forward. Perpetrators may be held criminally responsible more than five (5) years after the time of the abuse, and victims will be able to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages from the alleged perpetrator any time before the victim’s fiftieth (50th) birthday.
Victims of sexual abuse (regardless of age at the time of the abuse) know that it is extremely difficult to come forward. The fear of not being believed by law enforcement officials or loved ones, fear of being abused a subsequent time, or the fear of reliving a horrific experience are just a few reasons why victims find it difficult to come forward. Existing time limitations under New York law prevent many victims from coming forward, as once the five-year period lapses, there is simply nothing a victim can do. As such, the new laws aim to give victims time to recover both physically and mentally before moving forward to relive an experience they want nothing more than to forget.
The Consequences of Sexual Abuse
Victims of sexual abuse, especially children, may find it difficult to navigate life on a daily basis. The physical and mental harm resulting from sexual abuse (regardless of who the alleged perpetrator is), can affect a victim’s ability to interact with others, attend school, or keep a steady job. Living in fear is debilitating, especially when the perpetrator has not been brought to justice. However, many victims find that they can finally heal and move forward after the perpetrator of their abuse has been held criminally responsible.
In certain cases, victims can seek compensation from the perpetrator or a party that is responsible for a perpetrator’s conduct (such as an employer) by filing a civil lawsuit. While criminal and civil penalties can certainly help a victim recover following a traumatic experience, there is nothing that anyone can do to turn back time and prevent acts of abuse from happening in the first place. But, with new and improved laws in New York, victims have a much better chance to seek justice against those who must be held responsible for their reprehensible conduct.
Contact Parker Waichman LLP Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
Victims of child sexual abuse have a long road to recovery both physically and mentally. At Parker Waichman LLP, we help victims of child sexual abuse seek justice against those who have caused them to suffer needless harm. If you have suffered from sexual abuse or have a loved one who has been sexually abused and believe you may have a potential legal claim, consider contacting our office to discuss your situation. To schedule your free case evaluation, call Parker Waichman LLP today at (800) YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to speak with one of our lawyers.
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