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Thomas K. Duane's Blog

Seeking Justice for Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse

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The decades-long, systematic cover-up of childhood sexual abuse by institutions and persons in a position of authority is well known, and yet New York State’s antiquated statute of limitation laws have barred victims, who do not come to terms with what has happened to them until much later in life, from seeking justice. As a passionate advocate for the prevention of childhood sexual abuse as well as for redress and closure for adults living with its traumatic scars, I have long sponsored legislation that would create a one year window period to allow past survivors of sex abuse to come forward with claims regardless of when the abuse occurred. While this model has been successfully implemented in California, here in New York powerful institutions with even more powerful lobbyists have aggressively fought my legislation and kept it from even coming out of committee. On Wednesday, May 25th the Albany Times-Union ran an op-ed I wrote explaining New York’s obligation to sex abuse victims and urging the Legislature to pass this fair and just legislation before the June 20th end of the 2011 Legislative Session. Please see my op-ed here.