Starting next week, it will be a lot easier for a victim to file a sex abuse lawsuit. Under New York’s new Child Victims Act, the Statute of Limitations is suspended until August 13th of next year. That means anyone, age 55 or under, can file a civil suit, no matter how long ago he or she thinks the abuse happened.
The Zero Abuse Program is going statewide, informing sexual abuse counselors of the change. This afternoon’s session was in Syracuse at the McMahon-Ryan Child Advocacy Center.
Jeff Dion, an attorney who runs Zero Abuse, says he was an abuse victim, who, like many, did not realize for years that he was abused. He expects others in that situation will now file, not only against the abuser, but also against institutions who may have protected suspected abusers.
Dion expects a lot of people will now come forward: “And they recognize that well, wait, maybe someone will believe me,” he says. “And so this is their opportunity, not only for themselves, but to help protect kids today. Because chances are, if their abuser is still alive, they’re still out there molesting kids.