New York State Senate Passes Adult Survivors Act

Posted on Monday, June 7th, 2021 at 8:39 pm    

On June 4, 2021 the New York State Senate passed the Adult Survivors Act (ASA). The ASA is a response to the outcry brought on by the New York Child Victims Act (CVA), which brought justice to those who were minors at the time of their abuse. Even if the statute of limitations had passed, they were offered a 1-year look back window to bring charges against their abuser. This 1-year window ended up being extended and was widely praised for the justice that it offered to victims. More than 6,000 survivors have used the CVA since it was signed into law. Soon, New Yorkers were calling out for the same justice to be offered for victims who were 18 or older at the time of their abuse. Now, those survivors will have their chance.

It has long been proven that survivors of sexual abuse do not always come forward immediately. The time it takes to process their trauma can take mere weeks for some, and years for others. By the time the victim has had time to face what has happened to them, they often find that the statute of limitations has passed. The CVA recognized this fact and offered another opportunity to former child victims, but the age limit restricted adult survivors that same chance. No matter whether the trauma happened as a child or an adult, it is a fact that trauma is not something that you can heal from in a predictable, linear way. A reluctance to come forward immediately is a sad truth of sexual trauma and should not bar victims from holding their abusers accountable for their crimes.

Sexual assault survivor and client of our firm, Gary Greenberg, has dedicated his life to advocating against child sexual abuse. He was a vocal advocate of the Child Victims Act and worked hard to push for its passage. In a press conference Gary eloquently said, “No money can take what happened and make it right, but what the lawsuit can do – what I hope it does – is wake society up that this is going on, that New York state has allowed this to go on for years and years.” We were proud to represent Gary when he brought his case forward under the CVA.

The ASA was sponsored in part by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Brad Hoylman who said, “Adult survivors of serial sexual assaulters like Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein have been shut out of our courthouses by inadequate statutes of limitations. That ends now. In 2019 we passed the Child Victims Act, which has helped more than 6,000 sexual assault survivors seek justice. The Adult Survivors Act extends that exact same opportunity to thousands more survivors, letting them hold their predators accountable in court. For far too long our justice system has failed survivors of sexual assault, the passage of the Adult Survivors act is a powerful step to fix that historic wrong.”

If you were a victim of sexual abuse and did not have the opportunity to bring charges against your abuser, contact the compassionate and skilled childhood sexual abuse attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP. We are available 24/7 to take your call at 646-685-8045.

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