New York Child Victims Act: Statement from Attorney Jeff Anderson

New York Child Victims Act Will Hold Institutions Accountable, Help Survivors Heal

The Historic Reform Legislation Will Change Lives

(Albany, NY) – By passing the Child Victims Act (CVA) today, the New York Legislature gave long-suffering survivors a chance to come forward and begin the healing process. It is a new day.

We applaud the New York Legislature for doing the right thing. Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal deserve credit for sponsoring and guiding the legislation.

Most of the credit goes to child sexual abuse survivors, who have endured years, sometimes decades, of trauma and suffering. Without their courage and support, this historic legislation is not possible. Under the CVA, child sexual abuse survivors in New York will have until age 55 (instead of age 23) to bring a civil lawsuit against abusers and institutions. And there will be a one-year window for child sexual abuse victims of any age to bring lawsuits for abuse that occurred even decades ago. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the CVA into law.

The Child Victims Act is not perfect. There should be no statute of limitations for sexual abuse. We know that it can take survivors decades to be able to come forward. But this legislation is a great improvement and it gives many survivors a chance. Lawsuits allow survivors to secure information and secret documents from abusers and institutions that cover up for them. This results in more accountability and transparency and helps protect the public. And the information and documents show survivors that they are not alone and no longer need to suffer in silent isolation.

By coming forward and seeking justice, survivors begin to take back power stolen from them when they were kids. They begin to heal. It takes a lot of courage and we greatly admire them for it. They can have a better life. Today in New York, they were given a chance.