As Senate Majority Leader Says Child Victims Act is Unlikely in Budget Deal, Kennedy & Hoylman Join Survivors to Deliver Petitions With More Than 130,000 Signatures Demanding Its Inclusion in Final New York State Budget


  Kennedy and Hoylman Launched Petition After Senate Republicans Removed Critical Language Extending Legal Protections for Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivors in One-House Budget

As Childhood Sexual Abuse Cases Continue to Surface in WNY and Across NYS, Senators Underscore Overwhelming Support for Key Reform

ALBANY, NY – Days after Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) and Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) launched an online petition demanding the inclusion of the Child Victims Act (CVA) in the final New York State Budget, more than 50,000 people have signed on, lending their support to the push at the state capital. The legislators created the petition, enlisting New Yorkers in their fight for the CVA, after Senate Republicans removed this key language from the Senate’s one-house budget proposal. Both the Governor’s and Assembly’s proposals included variations of the CVA in their budget proposals, yet when leaving budget negotiations Monday, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan told press he did not see the CVA being included in a final budget deal.

Abuse survivors and advocates also gathered support for an additional petition, generating more than 80,000 signatures. Kennedy and Hoylman joined those survivors Monday to deliver the petitions to Senate majority leadership.

“This massive number of signatures collected within such a short window demonstrates that so many people have been impacted by abuse in one way or another, and that people feel strongly about giving childhood sexual abuse survivors the opportunity to seek the justice they deserve,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “As thousands continue to sign our petition and demand this critical reform, I urge my colleagues in the Senate Majority to do the right thing by New York’s survivors and include this in our final state budget.”

"I'm gratified, but not surprised, to see the outpouring of support for our petition demanding justice for survivors of child sexual abuse," said Senator Brad Hoylman."New Yorkers know our current laws are the worst in the nation. I'm proud to stand with Senator Kennedy to give so many people the opportunity to voice their support for the Child Victims Act. Now it's time to pass the Child Victims Act and include the critical lookback window in this year’s budget."

The Child Victims Act seeks to make it easier for survivors of child sexual abuse to take legal action as adults, and would greatly extend legal timeframes that currently restrict the ability for victims to bring criminal and civil cases. Additionally, it would create a one-year revival period, allowing survivors who were previously barred from bringing a civil claim the ability to bring a new action. The legislation is supported by many, including the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York (DAASNY).

A Siena Poll conducted earlier this year found that 76% of New Yorkers support the passage of the Child Victims Act, and that the support holds strong across political, geographic, and religious lines. Just 17% of New Yorkers oppose it.

Kennedy and Hoylman’s petition can be found here.

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