The New York Child Victims Act
The New York Child Victims Act Window Closed on August 13, 2021.
The New York Child Victims Act gave survivors of child sexual abuse in New York the opportunity to file a civil claim against the individual who hurt them and the institution responsible, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. Under this revolutionary legislation, survivors of any age could seek justice, compensation and accountability while reclaiming some of the power taken from them as kids.
If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse in the State of New York, our attorneys and trauma-informed advocates want to help you. Standing with and fighting for survivors of child sexual abuse has been our mission for more than 38 years.
A Historic Step Forward
On January 28, 2019, the New York Legislature passed the Child Victims Act (A2683 and S2440), reforming the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse survivors in New York. It was signed into law by Governor Cuomo on February 14, 2019.
The New York Child Victims Act:
- Allows child sex abuse survivors to bring a civil lawsuit against abusers and institutions that protected them until the survivor reaches the age of 55
- Opened a one-year window for child sexual abuse victims of any age to bring lawsuits for abuse that occurred even decades ago (this window was extended by an additional year due, in part, to the COVID-19 pandemic)
- Revived previously barred actions related to sexual abuse of children
- Granted civil trial preference to such actions
- Eliminated the notice of claim requirements for such actions when the action is brought against a municipality, the state or a school district
- Requires judicial training relating to child abuse and the establishment of rules relating to civil actions brought for sexual offenses committed against children
Visit our news archive for more information about the New York Child Victims Act.
New York Child Victims Act Diocesan Lawsuits Dashboard & Database
Between the opening of the CVA on August 14, 2019, and May 31, 2021, more than 3,300 child sexual abuse lawsuits involving the Catholic Church, its affiliated organizations, its clergy, and its employees were filed in the state of New York. These lawsuits allege abuse by more than 1,700 individuals, including cardinals, bishops, priests, members of religious orders, and lay staff. We analyzed these lawsuits and have presented our analysis as of April 2021 in an interactive dashboard. We invite you to explore summary data by state or diocese and scroll or search for accused perpetrators by name. View dashboard.
New York Bishops’ History of Opposition to the Child Victims Act
Prior to its passage in 2019, the bishops of the eight dioceses of New York waged an expensive campaign to defeat the Child Victims Act. The legislation was proposed in New York for the first time in 2006, where it passed in the Assembly but was blocked in the state Senate. In the decade that followed, the Catholic Church successfully defeated the legislation year after year, reportedly using its pulpits to accuse legislators of attempting to bankrupt the Church and threatening to close churches in the districts of legislators that backed the bill. Reports reveal that between 2007 and 2015, the Catholic Conference spent approximately $2.1 million on lobbyists to prevent the passage of the Child Victims Act.
With thousands of survivors bringing clergy abuse claims under the Child Victims Act, the Catholic bishops of New York have resorted to shielding millions in Church assets from survivors and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to cut short survivors’ window of opportunity for restitution. These Chapter 11 filings can significantly impact the rights and opportunities you may have to pursue justice. Visit our New York Dioceses page to learn more.
You Are Not Alone. We Are Here to Help.
It’s time for justice. It’s time for you to share your story, safely and confidentially. It’s time to lay down your burden and reclaim some of your power. It’s time to expose the person who hurt you and make sure what happened to you never happens to another kid. It’s time to take action under the New York Child Victims Act.
Before making a decision concerning such serious and sensitive matters, we encourage all survivors of child sexual abuse to consult with legal counsel before proceeding with a claim. We want to help you find accountability and healing. We will stand by you. We will fight for you.
If you were sexually abused or molested by a priest, scout leader, teacher or coach in New York, we want to help. It’s time. Contact us confidentially now.