Albany, N.Y., Aug 12, 2019 / 12:30 pm
A one-year window that allows adults in New York state who were sexually abused as children to file lawsuits against their abusers opens on Wednesday, August 14. Those who were sexually abused now have a one-year break in the state's statute of limitations to pursue claims against their abusers and the institutions where the abuse took place.
The window was created by the passage of the Child Victims Act on January 28, 2019. The law adjusted the statute of limitations for pursuing criminal charges and civil suits against sexual abusers or institutions. Previously, a survivor of child sexual abuse had until the age of 23 to file charges or a civil claim. Now, with the passage of the law, survivors have up until the age of 28 to file criminal charges, and age 55 to file a lawsuit.
The one-year window begins six months after the passage of the law. The Catholic Church, Boy Scouts of America, and the state's public schools have all said they are preparing for a potentially large number of abuse survivors to file lawsuits.
In 2002, the state of California passed a similar piece of legislation, leading to more than one billion dollars being paid by the Catholic Church to survivors of child sexual abuse.