Statute aims to provide closure to victims of sexual abuse

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A temporary statute passed by New York State aims to help those that were victims of sexual abuse in their youth.

The legislature passed the Child Victim’s Act which contains a revival statute that gives victims of sexual abuse a one year window to bring a lawsuit against any individual or institution responsible for them being victimized as children regardless of when it occurred.

The normal statute of limitations on these types of crimes ranges from 1-3 years.

Binghamton Attorney Ron Benjamin says a lot of the crimes that will most likely be addressed by this law were committed by people in positions of power including priests, school officials and Boy Scout leaders.

He says nothing makes up for the trauma suffered by victims, but this should help provide some closure.

“It’s going to allow some compensation to victims that have had their lives destroyed. Everyone is different, some people get over it fairly quickly. Other people have identity crises, they resort to alcohol or drugs,” he said.

Victims can file their civil suits beginning tomorrow and for one year after.

Benjamin says while many of the perpetrators of these crimes may be dead, he says the institutions they worked for could still be in operation and can be held liable.

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