State lawmakers are expected to take up a bill on Monday that is meant to make it easier for the victims and survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits.
“For years, survivors of child sexual abuse have looked to Albany to fix New York’s broken statute of limitations. While the New York State Assembly has passed the Child Victims Act for years, victim’s pleas have gone unanswered because of the Republican State Senate,” said Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal in a joint statement.
“It’s a new day. We’re pleased to announce that finally, adult survivors of child sexual abuse will have the opportunity to seek redress against their abusers and institutions – both public and private – that harbored them.”
The bill did not gain a vote in the state Senate while it was under Republican control. It is expected to easily pass when lawmakers meet in Albany next week on either Monday or Tuesday.
Advocates for the legislation have called for a one-year look back for expired civil claims that can be revived by survivors. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $175 billion budget proposal has a provision that is largely in line with the bill to be before lawmakers on Monday.
Cuomo is likely to sign the legislation.
“For too long, society has failed these survivors of abuse and their traumas at the hands of authority figures have only been compounded by a justice system that denied their day in court. In New York this ends now,” Cuomo said. “Passing the Child Victim’s Act is a key part of my 100-day Agenda and I’m proud to say the time is now to pass this critical legislation to end this heinous injustice once and for all and give these victims their day in court.”
The Catholic Diocese has expressed concerns about the bill in its current form, saying it should be expanded to include public institutions. In a Daily News op/ed Cardinal Timothy Dolan said a potential model for helping victims is the Catholic Church’s compensation program, saying the measure should build of it.
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