State lawmakers push to expand civil recourse for sex abuse victims

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ALBANY, NY – As the New York State legislative session winds down to its final days, lawmakers and advocates want to expand civil recourse for victims of sexual abuse.

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has more on the proposed Adult Survivors Act.

{{Catalina Cruz, NYS Assemblymember}} “To think that simply because you’re an adult you somehow can get to that point where you can speak up sooner is absurd.”

Assembly Co-sponsor of the Adult Survivors Act Catalina Cruz says current law doesn’t consider how traumatic it can be for victims of sexual abuse to come forward.

The ASA would establish a one-year ‘look-back’ window for victims of sexual crimes that were eighteen years of age and older when the abuse occurred to file a civil lawsuit if they are time-barred by current statutes of limitations.

Survivors of sexual assault says it’s critical that abusers and “enabling institutions” are held accountable.

{{Marissa Hoechstetter, Sexual Assault Survivor}} “You can’t put a statute of limitation on this. Is the legislature really going to say that the path to justice is closed because some of us were over 18 when the abuse occurred? What number will it take for you to see us?”

Back in 2019, the New York State legislature passed the Child Victims Act, which created a look-back window for survivors of child sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits.

The window was extended until August 14th of this year.

So far lawmakers say there have been about 6,000 filings and counting as a result of that law.

And they say there’s more work to be done.

{{Yuh-Line Niou,NYS Assemblymember}} “Past these bills, we should be looking at how long it actually, statistically takes for a survivor to speak up.”

In Albany, Corina Cappabianca.

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