The New York Times: New York Child Abuse Bill

Thomas K. Duane

May 18, 2010

May 17, 2010
New York Child Abuse Bill

To the Editor:

Re “Justice for Child Abuse Victims” (editorial, May 16):

I read with great interest your editorial, in which you rightly point out that it typically takes years before child sex abuse victims are able to come forward about their abuse — many times after an arbitrary statute of limitations bars any claim against perpetrators and those institutions that have systematically covered up those abuses. It is imperative to have a one-time, one-year window to allow these victims to seek justice and closure surrounding their abuse.

There are, however, problems with the current Child Victims Act pending before the Legislature. The bill bars those 58 or older from using the one-year window. The Child Victims Act must be amended to be all-inclusive before it is considered by the Senate and the Assembly. If this does not happen, it is crucial that these survivors, at the very least, have the opportunity to review documents and evidence with the potential to validate their abuse in an attempt to find closure.

Thomas K. Duane
State Senator, 29th District
New York, May 16, 2010