Cuomo Pledges to Pass the Child Victims Act Now

Governor Cuomo announced that the Child Victims Act (CVA) will be one of his top priorities in the upcoming legislative session.
In response, Michael Polenberg, VP of Government Affairs for Safe Horizon, issued the following statement:
“The State Assembly and the new Democratic Senate Majority are both outstanding allies in the fight for justice for survivors of child sexual abuse – we are thrilled to see the Governor also re-commit to passing the Child Victims Act this session. It’s time for New York State to finally prioritize survivors over the people and institutions that abuse them. We’ve been waiting for 13 long years: time’s up.”
The Assembly has already twice passed the bill with bi-partisan support in previous years. The incoming Senate Majority is also committed to the CVA, having campaigned on the issue throughout the election season and won, in large part thanks to overwhelming public support for it. The legislation – which would extend the statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sex abuse – has faced previous opposition in the Republican controlled Senate where it has languished for 13 years.
Last year, Governor Cuomo included the CVA in his budget proposal, but it was left out of the final budget.
The Child Victims Act (CVA) would bring meaningful statute of limitations (SOL) reform for survivors of childhood sex abuse, allowing them to hold their abusers accountable in court. Currently, the 5-year statute of limitations means that survivors of certain kinds of childhood abuse have only until the age of 23 to bring charges. The bill has been routinely opposed by Senate Republicans, the Catholic Church, and the Boy Scouts of America.
The CVA would do the following:
· Increase the criminal statute of limitations prospectively;
· Increase the civil statute of limitations prospectively;
· Remove special protections for public institutions that have acted as a shield against liability; and
· Create a one-year look-back window to allow survivors with expired claims to go to court.
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