(Albany, NY) The Senate Democratic Majority today announced the opening of the ‘lookback window’ established by the Child Victims Act (S.2440). Survivors of past child sexual abuse now have the opportunity to seek justice on allegations that had previously been time-barred. This one-year window allows for lawsuits to be initiated against abusers and the institutions that let the abuse happen.
“The passage of the Child Victims Act was a long and tough fight for the survivors and advocates,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “The start of the one-year window will help survivors seek justice that has been denied for far too long. I applaud Senator Brad Hoylman who has been a leader in the fight to pass the Child Victims Act and to ensure the look-back window was included in the final legislation. The Senate Democratic Majority will continue to stand with the survivors of sexual abuse as they seek justice.”
Bill Sponsor, Senator Brad Hoylman said, "As the past week's events concerning Jeffrey Epstein have made tragically clear, survivors of child sexual abuse have for years been shut out of the justice system due to New York's formerly inadequate statute of limitations—and far too often, have been denied the opportunity to confront their abusers in court. Republicans in the State Senate blocked our efforts to pass the Child Victims Act for a decade. But thanks to our new Democratic Senate Majority and the leadership of Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Governor Cuomo, and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, the courthouse doors have opened. We are finally telling survivors: the State of New York and the full force of its law is behind you, and you will not be turned away.
“The Child Victims Act will allow survivors to seek justice, expose hidden predators and hold them accountable along with those who may have enabled their abuse. As we will see in the coming days and weeks, survivors will come from every corner of the state, from every gender identity, every race, every socioeconomic class, every kind of institution. When similar legislation was passed in California in 2003, over 300 sexual abusers were identified through litigation.
“I thank my colleagues in the Legislature and all of the advocates and survivors who fought to see this day become reality." Senator Hoylman concluded.
As established in the Child Victims Act:
- The ‘lookback window’ begins on August 14, 2019 and will conclude on August 14, 2020.
- During this time, any statute of limitation or notice of claim requirement otherwise existing in law will not bar past child victims from bringing forth claims.