How The Child Victims Act Helps Sexual Abuse Victims
The Child Victims Act is the result of more than 15 years of work by survivors and advocates who faced opposition from the Catholic Church and insurance industry for decades. Eight other states are now considering similar legislation. Extending the statute of limitation for civil litigation is useful to raise awareness and increase public knowledge of how prevalent child sexual abuse really is. During civil cases, testimony and evidence often reveal how abusers and patterns of abuse operate.
The Child Victims Act does several important things that can help sexual abuse victims in New York find justice in both the criminal and civil court. For future cases of sexual abuse involving a child under the age of 18, the act allows victims to bring civil action against their abuser until the age of 55. Previously, the age limit was only 23. Victims can now seek felony criminal prosecution until the age of 28 and misdemeanor charges until age 25.