BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A new window of opportunity has opened up for adults who were sexually abused in New York State to receive judgment and compensation for their trauma.

As of Thanksgiving, New York State residents who are 18 years or older can utilize the Adult Survivors Act to sue sexual abusers regardless of when the abuse took place.

Binghamton Attorney Ron Benjamin says that the new legislation is modeled from the Child’s Victim Act passed back in 2019.

Benjamin won several judgments for child victims including cases brought against the former Boys and Girls Club of Western Broome.

Benjamin says that these abuse cases take claims that would have otherwise been barred by the statute of limitations, and allows them to move forward.

“There should and is now some recognition of what you went through, and that the government has decided you should be compensated for it. So you should take that into consideration and try to address it as best you can, if it’s too much then it’s too much and you just don’t go forward.”

He says that these cases are emotionally challenging, as the survivors have to relive the abuse.

Benjamin says the defendants in adult survivor cases are more likely to be individuals such as employers or correctional officers, compared to the child survivor cases that were predominately brought against large organizations such as the Boy Scouts or religious institutions.

He says that the methodology will also shift.

An example would be abuse in the workplace that occurred in the 70’s, the employer will have to look at their old insurance policies rather than what they have established today.