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Update on the New York Child Victims Act

Finally, the cries of survivors that endured sexual assault as children have been heard. In a sweeping victory, the New York Child Victims Act received unanimous approval in the state Senate with a 142-3 vote in the Assembly this past January 28.

This monumental law aims to give survivors a solution to help ease their pain. For now, many survivors of child sexual assault are reaching out to attorneys to file charges against their abusers who caused physical, mental, and emotional damages that endured for years.

The trustworthy sexual assault lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP are dedicated to protecting the rights of those who have suffered at the hands of wrongdoers. We believe this means not only providing legal guidance but also information that can help sexual assault survivors stay informed to make the best decisions for their individual circumstances.

Contact our New York sexual assault attorneys today at (212) 779-0057 to set up a no-obligation consultation.

A Long Time Coming

The bill was finally signed into law on Feb. 14 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo is quoted as saying, “After a 13-year ordeal and after decades of personal pain for so many, I hope you can find a slight sense of peace and a slight sense of vindication that you did not endure this pain without reason.”

The act was stalled unnecessarily for 13 years, prolonging the suffering that survivors experienced during which they could not seek legal action. As per Democrat & Chronicle, most of the delay was attributed to the Catholic Church and their insurance companies, who feared lawsuits and having to pay out substantial settlements. Coupled with partisan politics and a blocked measure, it would take some time for the act to make its way through the Legislature.

With political changes in the Senate, the bill was finally passed with a clause that allowed public institutions, such as schools, to be sued as well. The Catholic Church would drop its opposition, stating in a tweet, “We, therefore, remove our previous opposition and pray that the survivors find the healing they so desperately deserve.”

What Happens Next?

Most notably now that the bill has passed, survivors of child sexual abuse can:

  • File a sexual assault charge until their 55th birthday, which is an increase from the previous age limit of 23.
  • Seek felony charges up until their 28th birthday, which is an increase from the previous age limit of 23.
  • File misdemeanor charges against their abuser up until their 25th birthday, increasing the statute of limitation by five years.
  • Take advantage of a one-time “window of justice.” This allows survivor of any age, and regardless of how long ago the abuse took place, to file a lawsuit against their abuser.

It is important to note the distinction of the last bullet point. The “window of justice” is said to begin in August.

Justice awaits those who suffered through sexual assault as children. Let Hach & Rose, LLP deliver the legal care and protection you deserve.

The sexual assault lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP are ready to deliver justice to survivors of sexual assault, especially those that had to endure trauma as young children. For years, we have developed professional relationships with medical specialists to strengthen our client’s cases, building up supporting evidence that proves their claims and helps them to secure the recovery they deserve.

Contact our New York sexual assault attorneys today at (212) 779-0057 to set up a consultation.

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