Supporters of the Child Victims Act will gather for the second day today at the Legislative Office Building in Albany to urge New York lawmakers to pass the bill.
Last week, the New York Daily News reported that sexual abuse scandals at Poly Prep Country Day School, Horace Mann, Syracuse, and other institutions inspired the proposed bill.
Currently, New York state requires victims of childhood sexual abuse to file a case by the time they are 23 years old. The Child Victims Act would eliminate the criminal and civil statute of limitations of sex abuse cases.
Statutes of limitations like the one in New York allow predators and the institutions that protected them to hide behind arbitrary timelines. These laws are short sighted because the nature and extent of the damage inflicted by childhood sexual abuse can cause victims to remain silent for decades. In fact, many victims of childhood sex abuse are not prepared to break their silence until later in adulthood.
Like many states, New York is in the midst of potential reform that could allow victims to seek justice for the abuse they suffered as kids. By reforming the unjust statute of limitations in New York and nationally, predators and the institutions that protected them will be exposed and kids will be more protected.