The New York Child Victims Act

Protecting Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

The New York Senate passed Bill S2440, extending the statute of limitations on sexual crimes.

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Child Victims Act Adult Survivors Act

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Your privacy and safety is of the utmost importance to us. Please know that anything you share through this website is secure and confidential. You can call our office directly: ‪(212) 603-9100‬. Your contacting Merson Law is confidential.

PLEASE NOTE: If you believe that a child is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local police department.

You can report child abuse to the Office of Children and Family Services website or by calling the NYOCFS at 1-800-342-3720.

The Child Victims Act (Bill S.2440) & The Best Child Victims Act Lawyers In New York City

On February 14th 2019, New York lawmakers passed a revolutionary bill. Bill S2440,commonly referred to as the Child Victims Act, implements multiple provisions to protect survivors who were sexually assaulted as children. If you were sexually assaulted in the past in New York as a child, including inappropriate touching of a child, contact Merson Law now and our Child Victims Act Lawyer in New York City will help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Child sexual abuse crime is a very serious matter and we treat the matter with the respect and care you deserve.

What is the statute of limitations on the Child Victims Act in New York?

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, starting August 19, 2019*, 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

Cuomo Supports Child Victims Act Passed

Why did this happen?

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 Sponsored 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.

Merson Law Fighting Child Sex Abuse News

When was the Child Victims Act implemented?

The Child Victims Act took nearly 12 years to finally pass, due to pushback from some 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.

In January of 2019, the Child Victims Act was finally passed in a 142-3 vote. It was then signed into law by former Governor Andrew Cuomo on February 14, 2019.

Child Victims Act Statute of Limitations

Why does this matter?

Merson Law Team Giovanna Mabile Melanie Hernandez Merson Law Associate Giovanna Mabile

Though the lookback window has since ended, the Child Victims Act still applies to any case that occurred in the state of New York.

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.

Helpful Links with Information & News about the Child Victims Act

UPDATED: The Child Victims Act (S.2440)

The Child Victims Act (Bill S6575)

New York State Senate: The official government website of the New York State Senate, with information on the Child Victims Act

The Buffalo News: New York lawmakers pass Child Victims Act: ‘This bill is about survivors’

What Constitutes Sexual Assault?

New York State Penal Law Section 130.95: Predatory sexual assault

Penal (PEN) – Penal Code

A person is guilty of predatory sexual assault when he or she commits the crime of rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree, or course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, as defined in this article, and when:

1. In the course of the commission of the crime or the immediate flight therefrom, he or she:

(a) Causes serious physical injury to the victim of such crime; or

(b) Uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument; or

2. He or she has engaged in conduct constituting the crime of rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree, or course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, as defined in this article, against one or more additional persons; or

3. He or she has previously been subjected to a conviction for a felony defined in this article, incest as defined in section 255.25 of this chapter or use of a child in a sexual performance as defined in section 263.05 of this chapter.

Predatory sexual assault is a class A-II felony.

A person is guilty of sexual abuse in the first degree when he or she subjects another person to sexual contact:

1. By forcible compulsion;  or

2. When the other person is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless;  or

3. When the other person is less than eleven years old;  or

4. When the other person is less than thirteen years old and the actor is twenty-one years old or older.

Sexual abuse in the first degree is a class D felony.

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