Recent changes to New York's statute of limitations may mean a second chance at justice for sexual abuse survivors. But, the clock is ticking. Now, child sex abuse survivors have one year to file claims.
In early 2019, the hard work and dedication of survivors and advocates paid off. For years they fought powerful entities like the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America. Organizations like these have a history of working against survivors and advocates to prevent the passing of laws that would help survivors pursue justice against sexual abusers in these institutions. On January 28, 2019, the New York State legislature passed A-2683, also known as the Child Victims Act, almost unanimously.
This bill allows victims of child sexual abuse more time to pursue legal actions against their abuser(s). In a landmark conference on February 14, 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act into law. Now, as of August 14, 2019, sexual abuse survivors have a renewed opportunity to pursue their abusers in court.
Under the Child Victims Act, older sexual abuse survivors now have a one-year “look back window” to pursue justice. This means that child sexual abuse victims of any age to file a new lawsuit during this one-year period. This even includes survivors with claims that already expired under the previous child abuse statute of limitations.
Also, any future child sex abuse survivors who are harmed after the effective date of the new statute of limitations will have until they are 55-years-old to file a claim. The 55-year age limit does not apply to revived claims during the one-year look-back window.
New York's one-year window began August 14, 2019, and, originally, was scheduled to remain open until August 14, 2020. However, the fallout of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic halted much of the judicial system in early 2020, including lawsuits being filed under the Child Victims Act. So, to allow sexual abuse victims more time to file claims, New York legislatures recently extended the lookback window an additional year.
With the extension, New York sexual abuse victims have until August 14, 2021, to file claims under the Child Victims Act.
Survivors of childhood sex abuse that happened in New York need to talk to an experienced sexual abuse attorney as soon as possible. Regardless of the sex abusers’ affiliations, survivors deserve justice.
Child sex abuse victims have a right to share their stories to prevent sexual predators from harming more innocent children.
If you or a loved one are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse that occurred in New York, you don’t have suffer in silence any longer. We're here to give a voice to your suffering and ensure that those who harm children and steal innocence are brought to justice. Call us today for a free consultation to learn more about your rights to take part in financial recovery.