Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law

The Victims of Gender Motivated Violence Protection Law gives victims of gender-motivated crimes a new opportunity for justice, including extended statutes of limitations and a 1-year “look-back window.”

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Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence, you will have 1 Year to File a Lawsuit

The New York City VGMVPL provides a civil cause of action for victims of crimes of violence “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.”

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

The Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law, found in Title 10, Chapter 11 of the New York City Administrative Code is a law that was recently amended to better serve victims of gender-motivated violence.

As defined in the code,

“Except as otherwise provided by law, any person claiming to be injured by a party who commits, directs, enables, participates in, or conspires in the commission of a crime of violence motivated by gender has a cause of action against such party in any court of competent jurisdiction for any or all of the following relief:
a. Compensatory and punitive damages;
b. Injunctive and declaratory relief;
c. Attorney’s fees and costs; and
d. Such other relief as a court may deem appropriate.”

victims protesting gender-motivated violence embrace

The law allows victims of such crimes to sue their assailant or other liable parties.

This law has existed for several years, but a recent amendment extended the statute of limitations (essentially the expiration date of your ability to sue) to up to 7-9 years (depending on circumstances).

This is longer than other victims in the past have had to sue, so to give everyone a fair shot at litigation, the law also opens a look-back window.

During the lookback window time, “any civil claim or cause of action brought under this chapter that is barred because the applicable period of limitation has expired is hereby revived.” This means that no matter when a gender-motivated crime occurred, you will be able to file a civil claim against a liable party for one year.

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What Constitutes a Gender-Motivated Crime of Violence?

The New York City Administrative Code defines “crime of violence motivated by gender” as “a crime of violence 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.”

A gender-motivated crime of violence can be any form of assault motivated by sexist beliefs. Sexual assault can also be a form of gender-motivated violence.

Because of the terminology used in the law, many victims of sexual assault now have the ability to sue their assailant as well, in similar fashion to the passing of the Child Victims Act and the planned Adult Survivors Act.

If you were the victim of a gender-motivated crime of violence, now is your chance to get financial compensation for your suffering.

The team of experienced personal injury lawyers at Merson Law PLLC can help you get justice.

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

American Legal Publishing: Chapter 11: Actions by Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence

The Child Victims Act –  Merson Law PLLC

New York State Senate: The official government website of the New York State Senate

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