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For immediate release: January 11, 2019
Contact: Press Office
Phone: 518-402-3130

Child Victims Act To Be Included In 2019 Executive Budget

Legislation Ensures Child Abusers Are Held Accountable Criminally and Civilly

This legislation ensures those who abuse children are held accountable criminally and civilly and that survivors of childhood sexual abuse have a path to justice. The Governor advocated for passage of the Child Victims Act last legislative session but Senate Republicans refused to bring it to the floor for a vote. The Child Victims Act is part of the Governor's Justice Agenda for the first 100 days of the new legislative session.

An excerpt on the Child Victims Act from the Governor address is available on YouTube.

"There has been a degradation of justice for childhood sexual assault survivors who have suffered for decades by the authority figures they trusted most. That ends this year with the enactment of the Child Victims Act to provide survivors with a long-overdue path to justice," the Governor said. "For years Senate Republicans unconscionably blocked passage of this critical bill, but in partnership with a new progressive legislative majority we have an opportunity to ensure perpetrators of these heinous acts are held accountable and that survivors of childhood sexual abuse get their day in court."

This bill would provide necessary relief to child victims of sexual abuse by amending New York's antiquated laws to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions, regardless of when the crime occurred. Under current law, child sexual abuse offenses cannot be prosecuted after five years from their occurrence and civil lawsuits for this conduct must be brought within three years from the victim's 18th birthday.

This legislation

  • increases the amount of time during which perpetrators of these crimes may be held criminally accountable,
  • allows victims of these crimes to commence a civil lawsuit at any time before they reach 50 years of age,
  • provides victims whose claims have been time-barred a new opportunity for their day in court by opening a one-year window for them to commence their action,
  • eliminates the need to file a notice of claim for sexual offenses committed against a minor,
  • requires judicial training with respect to crimes involving the sexual abuse of minors, and
  • authorizes the Office of Court Administration to promulgate rules and regulations for the timely adjudication of revived actions.

This bill is consistent with legislation sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal.