Adult Survivors Act
In late October, advocates for New York’s Adult Survivors Act rallied together in Albany to pressure New York Assembly representatives to pass the bill, which has not yet been signed into law. This landmark bill would provide countless survivors with the opportunity to pursue justice against rapists and sexual abusers, even if the incident occurred long ago.
This bill (S66), already passed unanimously by the New York State Senate, is modeled after the Child Victims Act (CVA). It gives survivors of sexual assault and abuse at least 18 years old a one-year “lookback period” to file a civil claim against the individual who perpetrated the act.
Many victims of sexual violence don’t immediately come forward to report it. According to RAINN, most instances of sexual violence are never reported to the authorities. RAINN states that only 310 of every 1,000 sexual assault cases get reported. That means police never hear about more than two-thirds of all sexual violence cases.
There are many reasons why victims of sexual violence don’t immediately come forward. According to RAINN, some of the common reasons include fear of retaliation, believing that the police won’t take action, believing that there’s nothing the police can do, not wanting to get the perpetrator in trouble, and more.
Because many victims initially choose not to report sexual abuse or assault, the statute of limitations to report the crime to authorities and pursue a civil claim against the perpetrator often expires before the victim can change their mind. Currently, the statute of limitations for civil cases involving sexual abuse is three years. For criminal cases, the statute is between two and five years, depending on the severity of the crime.
The Adult Survivors Act would allow victims to bring a claim against their abuser or attacker even after the statute of limitations has passed. If a victim is currently time-barred from pursuing a civil claim in court, that person would have a one-year window to pursue a claim for compensation under the new law.
The Adult Survivors Act is seen by many as a crucial companion act to the CVA, which also extended the statute of limitations and allowed survivors of sexual abuse who were under the age of 18 at the time of the abuse to finally hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.
Contact Us Today
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse or assault, you are not alone. Sex offenses can cause physical, emotional, and mental trauma that lingers with victims for the rest of their lives.
Many victims understandably choose not to report instances of sexual abuse or assault, at least initially. If you wish to speak up and fight back, you should know that our compassionate attorneys are here to listen and help you seek answers and justice.
Our lawyers have years of experience fighting for victims of sexual abuse and assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor, you might be eligible to pursue a settlement. Our attorneys Mike Rose and Hillary Nappi are currently speaking with victims whose cases would fall under the new statute. Contact Hach & Rose, LLP by phone or online today for a free, no-obligation case review to discuss your case and evaluate your legal options.