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 buffalonews.com/childvictimsact to read more Child Victims Act stories.
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
Story topics: child victims act