February 28, 2019 – The new bill will allow victims of childhood sexual abuse the ability to file lawsuits against their abusers until the age of 55 in civil cases, a significant increase from the previous age limit of 23, and until they turn 28 for criminal cases. The act also includes a 1-year window during which victims of any age or time limit can come forward to bring charges.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: Our lawyers are currently wishing to speak with anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse in New York. If you were harmed in any way, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.
What’s the Problem?
Most other states have a much longer statute of limitations (SOL) regarding childhood sexual abuse claims compared to those New York had in place before the passage of the Child Victims Act, according to CNN. In fact, the Big Apple had the third most restrictive laws in the entire U.S., behind Mississippi and Alabama. Some states even have no SOLs at all in regards to childhood sex abuse.
“The fact that New York has stepped up and vastly improved its statute of limitations, it helps to pave the way for other states who haven’t yet taken steps to improve their statute of limitations,” said Stephen Forrester, director of government relations and administration at the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. “That’s an aspect that really goes a long way at restoring justice.”
The Child Victims Act also provides much more time for alleged victims to disclose their histories of abuse. Many experts argue that a long SOL for these types of cases is necessary due to the fact that it often takes many years for survivors to build the courage to come forward.
“For many different reasons, victims need time to come forward to report their abuse,” Forrester said.
Most victims of childhood sexual abuse never come forward at all, and if they do they wait until an average age of 52, according to Child USA. The organization said that extending the SOL for civil litigation will help increase public awareness as to how common the problem of sexual abuse among children is.
“We have this silent pandemic in this country,” said Marci Hamilton, CEO of Child USA and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “We didn’t really understand that this was everywhere.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse and/or neglect over the past year alone.
Do I Have a New York Sexual Abuse Class Action Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in New York sexual abuse lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you were the victim of any form of sexual abuse in New York, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a class action suit and our lawyers can help.