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What is New York State's Child Victims Act?

New York's Child Victims Act, which was signed into law Feb. 14, gives survivors of child sexual abuse more time to seek justice in the courts in several ways.

At 12:01 a.m. Aug. 14, a one-year window opens that allows any adult survivor of child sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit against an abuser or the institution that employed the abuser, no matter how long ago the abuse took place. Previously, those cases had to be filed before the victim turned 23. The window applies to civil cases, not to criminal charges.

Going forward, survivors of childhood sexual abuse who were younger than 23 on Feb. 14, 2019, will have until their 55th birthday to file a civil lawsuit against their abuser. They will have until their 25th birthday to file criminal misdemeanor charges against their abusers and their 28th birthday to file criminal felony charges.

Go to to read more Child Victims Act stories.

Need help? 

Crisis hotlines can help connect survivors of child sexual abuse to support and resources.

Crisis Services of Buffalo and Erie County: 834-3131

Niagara County: 285-3515

Genesee County: (585) 344-4400 or 1-844-345-4400

Safe Horizon victim services organization: 1-800-621-4673

New York lawmakers pass Child Victims Act: 'This bill is about survivors'

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