Senator Kaplan Applauds Child Victims Act Extension, Urges Survivors Seek Justice

Carle Place, NY (August 3, 2020)-- Senator Anna M. Kaplan today applauded Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for signing legislation (S.7082) that extends the ‘look back window’ established by the Child Victims Act (S.2440) and urged survivors of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice.

Under the Child Victims Act (CVA), survivors of past childhood sexual abuse have the opportunity to seek justice on allegations that had previously been time-barred. The original legislation allowed for a one-year look back window during which lawsuits could be initiated against abusers and institutions that allowed the abuse to happen. Due to the Covid pandemic and the disruption to the state court system, many survivors were prevented from filing within the look back window, necessitating an extension to ensure all survivors have an opportunity to seek justice.

Senator Anna M. Kaplan said “I proudly fought to pass the Child Victims Act into law to give survivors of childhood sex abuse an opportunity to seek justice against their abusers and to ensure that people who hurt children are held accountable. With so much of our lives, including the court system, upended by the pandemic, we needed to give survivors more time to seek justice under the law. I was proud to co-sponsor legislation giving survivors of childhood sex abuse more time to seek justice, and I’m grateful for Senator Hoylman for introducing it, and for Governor Cuomo for signing it into law today.”  

The Child Victims Act, S.2440 sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman and Co-sponsored by Senator Anna M. Kaplan, raised the criminal statute of limitations for several child sexual abuse crimes to age 28, and raised the civil statute of limitations for causes of action brought by someone seeking redress for physical, psychological, or other injury caused by child sexual abuse to age 55. Additionally, it created a one-year window from August 14, 2019 through August 14, 2020 for past survivors of child sexual abuse to initiate lawsuits against their abusers, and it created parity in how regulations impact public and private institutions under these circumstances.

Legislation extending the look back period, S.7082, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman and co-sponsored by Senator Anna M. Kaplan, extends the time in which to file a claim under the Child Victims Act by one year, through August 14, 2021.

Senator Anna M. Kaplan concluded "Survivors deserve an opportunity for healing, and those who commit crimes against children must be held accountable. With this law now in effect and the look back window extended, I urge all survivors to consider taking action so that these abusers can be brought to justice, and so that survivors can hopefully find some closure."