Beginning on March 1, 2023, the statute of limitations for allegations under New York City’s Victims of Gender-Motivated Protection Law (“VGMVPL”) will be extended for two years to afford alleged victims of gender motivated violence a two-year lookback window to bring a civil action for claims that have been previously time barred.
Individuals will have from March 1, 2023 to March 1, 2025 to commence a civil suit against such alleged wrongdoers and institutions where they may seek compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive and declaratory relief, attorney’s fees and costs, and such other relief as a court may deem appropriate under VGMVPL for participation in such crimes.
How Do I Know if My Attacker Violated the VGMVPA?
The VGMVPA provides a private cause of action for any individual who has been injured by another individual in a “crime of violence” that is motivated by gender. A “crime of violence” is defined as “an act or series of acts that would constitute a misdemeanor or felony against the person as defined in state or federal law . . . if the conduct presents a serious risk of physical injury to another, whether or not those acts have actually resulted in criminal charges….”
The VGMVPA also protects individuals who are victims of violence that are specifically “motivated by gender,” which occurs when the act is “committed because of gender or on the basis of gender, and due, at least in part, to an animus based on the victim’s gender.” This means that when an attacker targets an individual, at least partly because of that individual’s gender, they have violated the VGMVPA.
Is There a Difference Between Claims of Workplace Sexual Harassment and Claims under the VGMVPA?
Victims of gender-motivated violence may bring independent claims under employment laws that protect such individuals from sexual harassment in the workplace as well as under the VGMVPA. Significantly, the VGMVPA allows victims to bring claims any time within seven years of the unlawful incident, which is lengthier than the statute of limitations in most employment laws. Individuals who were subject to gender-motivated violence in the workplace may be able to hold both the wrongdoer, and their employer, liable for the unlawful act.
What Type of Remedies are Available under the VGMVPA?
The VGMVPA entitles individuals to potentially recover economic damages, compensatory damages for emotional distress, punitive damages to punish the wrongdoer, payment for attorneys’ fees and expenses, and injunctive and declaratory relief.
The VGMVPA protects all residents of New York City as well as anyone working in New York City. If you believe you are the victim of gender motivated violence, you should seek legal counsel.
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The Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law
Merson Law Fighting Against Gender-Motivated Crimes
What Constitutes a Gender-Motivated Crime of Violence?
Though the Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence look-back window does not start until March of 2023, we are already beginning cases for victims of Dr. Reginald Archibald and other instances of sexual abuse through this new law.
We implore you to act fast, as cases like these can take a significant amount of time. The look-back window may not be here yet, but you can still prepare your case to be ready for next year. The sooner you act, the sooner you could receive your payout.
Helpful Links with Information & News about the Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law