The New York Senate has passed Bill S6575, extending the statute of limitations on sexual crimes, allowing survivors to press charges, even on offenses committed decades ago.
The Child Victims Act has opened up a 1-year window allowing survivors to press charges, even on offenses committed decades ago.
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The Child Victims Act (Bill S6575):
What You Need to Know
New York lawmakers have just passed a revolutionary bill. Bill S6575, commonly referred to as the Child Victims Act, implements multiple provisions to protect survivors who were sexually assaulted as children.
How does this help?
The Child Victims Act includes provisions that:
- Extend the statute of limitations to allow victims to bring up civil cases until they turn 55. (The current statute of limitations is 23)
- Extend the statute of limitations for criminal cases to 28
- Implements new training for judges related to child abuse and sexual offenses
- Opens a one-year window for survivors to sue public or private institutions for offenses committed even decades ago
The Child Victims act “Provides that the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution of a sexual offense committed against a child shall not begin to run until the child turns 23 years of age; provides that a civil action for conduct constituting a sexual offense against a child, shall be brought before the child turns 50 years of age; revives previously barred actions related to sexual abuse of children; grants civil trial preference to such actions; eliminates the notice of claim requirements for such actions when the action is brought against a municipality, the state or a school district; requires judicial training relating to child abuse and the establishment of rules relating to civil actions brought for sexual offenses committed against children.”
-Quote from nysenate.gov
Why is this happening?
In the #metoo era, legislation like this is absolutely necessary. Victims of sexual crimes during childhood may need many months or years to come to grips with their experiences and decide on the actions they wish to take. Often, it isn’t until adulthood that a survivor may be emotionally ready. By extending the statute of limitations, survivors can take the time they need, and the predators who commit such horrific crimes will no longer be let off the hook.
Who does this affect?
This affects all New Yorkers who have survived sexual crimes or abuse as a child, especially those who may have lost the ability to press charges due to previous statute of limitations.
Who is sponsoring the Child Victims Act?
The Child Victims Act was originally sponsored by Brad Hoylman (D) of the 27th Senate District.
Co-sponsors of the bill include:
- Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D, IP, WF) 35th Senate District
- John E. Brooks (D) 8th Senate District
- Timothy M. Kennedy (D, IP, WF) 63rd Senate District
- Luis R. Sepúlveda (D) 32nd Senate District
Many celebrities and influencers support the Child Victims Act. Child star Corey Feldman spoke at the State Capitol in Albany in March of 2018, voicing his support for the bill.
When will the Child Victims Act be implemented?
The Child Victims Act took nearly 12 years to finally pass, due to pushback from corrupt politicians. Critics of the bill believed that giving these rights to survivors would bankrupt or damage institutions that have been complicit in these crimes, like the Catholic Church.
Other politicians claimed that the bill would be useless, since many survivors do not have the necessary funds to take their cases to court alone.
This January, the Child Victims Act was finally passed in a 142-3 vote.
Why does this matter?
Many of the provisions in the Child Victims Act have already taken effect.
Merson Law wants to take the passing of the Child Victims Act as an opportunity for survivors to claim the justice they deserve.
If you were the victim of sexual assault or sexual violence as a child, call us for a free consultation. Just remember, you don’t need to pay out of your pocket to take action now.