2018 Child Victims Act

New York legislators try again to pass the Child Victims Act

Facing enormous pressure from childhood sexual abuse victims and their supporters, New York governor Andrew Cuomo to include provisions to pass the Child Victims Act. Survivors of child sexual abuse hope the inclusion in the budget will provide more leverage against Senate Republicans, who have blocked passage of the bill in previous years.

The Child Victims Act would allow survivors to bring a civil lawsuit up to age 50. Currently, they have until their 23rd birthdays to bring cases. The bill also includes a one-year window for older child sex abuse survivors to file a lawsuit.

New York Times editorial favors passage of Child Victims Act

In urging lawmakers to pass the Child Victims Act, the New York Times editorial board states:

we should be less concerned with protecting the bank accounts of institutions that might harbor sexual predators, and more concerned with bringing justice to the victims — whether their abusers are clergy members, teachers or, as in a majority of cases, a family member.

The New York Times editorial board recognizes that a vast majority of people who were sexually abused as children never report it. They also recognize that for those who do report, it takes years, and often decades, to recognize the harm that was caused.