New York Law Provides Legal Options for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Victims of childhood sexual abuse that occurred in New York now have for the first time, regardless of age, the opportunity to legally pursue a civil claim against their abusers and the institutions that protected and enabled them.
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Attorney Richard M. Serbin, who has represented hundreds of child sexual abuse victims since the 1980s, stated: "This historic legislation will expose abusers, assist in protecting children and provide an opportunity for child abuse survivors to seek justice. Survivors in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, who have suffered the horrific consequences of child abuse alone for years, can now move forward with their claims and be paid for their years of torment. The original abuser may be dead, but the organization or institution behind them is still responsible."
Don't Miss Your Chance to Speak Out
There are stipulations and deadlines within the Child Victims Act that will affect how long you have to file a lawsuit.
Expanding the Rights of Childhood Abuse Survivors
Under New York's Child Victims Act, the rights of child victims of sex abuse have been expanded to include:
- A one-year "window of opportunity" for VICTIMS OF ANY AGE to file civil claims against their abusers and the institutions that covered up the abuse, no matter how long ago the abuse took place.
- A right to file civil lawsuits against their abuser until the victim's 55th birthday. Currently, the law only gives victims up to age 23 to file a lawsuit.
- The ability of authorities to prosecute sex abuse cases as felonies until the victim is 28. Currently, the state's statute of limitations sets an age limit of 23. of abuse at the hands of a priest or clergy member, please click below to request a free, no-obligation review from the legal team at JJS.
Law Applies to ALl Churches, School, Youth Organizations
Although the Child Victims Act arose from outrage over decades of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, the law applies to all institutions - private and public - including schools, youth groups, sporting organizations, scouting organizations, churches and more.
The New York Laws Favor Abuse Survivors
Serbin went on to state: "New York State Legislators and Governor Cuomo are to be commended for their enlightened approach to the sensitive issue of the years it takes for a child sex abuse victim to take legal steps to deal with the ugly, dark thoughts they have fought so hard to suppress. These new laws favor victims of abuse rather than those responsible for these crimes against innocent children."
Meet Our Sexual Abuse Division Leaders
The team includes, among others:
- Richard M. Serbin, who the media has described as a “crusader” for survivors of sexual abuse
- Andrew S. Janet, who has represented hundreds of sexual abuse survivors, including women who were sexually exploited by an OBGYN at USC’s university health center
- Brenda A. Harkavy, a known leader in prosecuting rapists and other sexual predators, represents clients throughout the country in cases against institutions that enable sexual abuse in religious, educational, and institutional settings
- Patrick Thronson, who has represented survivors of clergy sexual abuse and human trafficking, as well as hundreds of women who were sexually abused by an “OBGYN” who obtained a medical license under false pretenses
- Matthew White, who advocates for victims that suffered through sexual abuse as children at the hands of religious organizations and in other institutional settings
- Howard A. Janet, a compassionate advocate for sexual abuse survivors who has won record-breaking recoveries in a wide range of high-profile cases
- Adina Katz, who has represented children in a wide range of abuse and neglect cases