Lawsuit Informer

Adult Survivors Act Finally Goes Into Effect In New York

By Lawsuit Informer. December 3, 2022
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 09: People carry signs addressing the issue of sexual harassment at a #MeToo rally outside of Trump International Hotel on December 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

This historic law not only lifts the statute of limitations but also gives the survivors a window of opportunity, allowing them to file civil lawsuits against their abusers with a one-year look-back window.

Governor Kathy Hochul
KC Kratt, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

“The fight against sexual assault requires us to recognize the impact of trauma within our justice system. I am proud to sign this legislation, which is part of our collective responsibility to protect one another and create an environment that makes survivors feel safe. While our work is not done, eradicating sexual assault begins with our ability to bring the perpetrators of these heinous acts to justice and this legislation is a historic step forward.” Governor Hochul said after signing the Adult Survivors Act into law.

“To those who thought they got away with horrific crimes they committed, I just have one message: Your time is up. Your victims will see you in court and you will be brought to justice,” – Governor Kathy Hochul

If you are a victim of a sex offense in New York, and you were over the age of 18 at the time the offense occurred, you now have an opportunity to hold the perpetrator financially responsible for losses you suffered, even if you are currently time-barred by the statute of limitations.

For sex offense adult survivors in New York who were over the age of 18 at the time it occurred, until recently, they would have been unable to hold the perpetrator accountable for their crimes due to New York’s statute of limitations. However, that has changed, and now adult survivors have an opportunity for justice.

NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES – NOVEMBER 09: Governor Kathy Hochul greets the crowd at Election Night Watch Party at Capitale in New York City, United States on November 09, 2022. All state wide offices were won by representatives of Democratic Party. (Photo by Lev Radin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Lawsuits will be accepted until the one-year look-back window, also known as the statute of limitations revival laws, closes on November 23, 2023.

Meldofsky Law Firm understands the kind of pain and suffering brought by these types of injustice and actively helps individuals who have been sexually assaulted, file a lawsuit and seek justice.

Use the form below or call (800) 956-9876 to discuss your situation.

What Is The Child Victims Act?

The statute of limitations for child sex offenses previously began on the date the minor turned eighteen and expired a few years later. The Child Victims Act also established a one-year lookback window allowing survivors of childhood sexual assault aged 55 and above to take legal action against the perpetrator. That window has now closed.

In New York, the 2019 Child Victims Act, a mirror of the Adult Survivors Act (ASA), extended the statute of limitations on child sex offenses. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse and assault are allowed to file new civil cases against their abuser until they are 55 years old.

Previously, the statute of limitations on child sex offenses begins on the day the minor survivor turns eighteen and will expire after a few years. With the Child Victims Act, similar to ASA, a one-year look-back window was also enacted allowing the survivors of childhood sexual assault and abuse aged 55 and above to file legal actions against their perpetrator.

The one-year loo-back window of The Child Victims Act was later extended to two years because of the pandemic. This allows for a civil lawsuit a child sexual abuse survivor can file against a person or institution for their crime, even if it happened many years ago.

The Child Victims Act has also expanded the statute of limitations on potential child sexual abuse cases that will be filed moving forward.

Before the law was updated, cases of child sex abuse and assault in New York could not be prosecuted if more than five years from the time the crime was committed had already passed. It also limits the civil lawsuits to be filed only within three years after the survivor’s eighteenth birthday.

The look-back window started in August 2019 and ended in August 2021, after it was extended for another year. During that time, a staggering 10,600 child sexual abuse and assault cases were filed in New York.

What Does This Mean For Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault Survivors?

This bill provides them with the opportunity to file a civil lawsuit to seek justice and hold their abusers accountable for their actions.

The law also gives the opportunity to many survivors of sexual harassment and sexual violence that happened in the workplace to bring claims against their supervisors or employers, and be held financially liable by the institution before the statute of limitations has passed.

“For many survivors, it takes years to come to terms with the abuses committed against them, let alone to summon the courage to come forward to report the abuse, to confront a boss or a trusted co-worker or family member in a protracted court fight,” – New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman, the sponsor of the bill.

This sends a message that society takes the issue of adult sexual abuse seriously and is committed to helping survivors heal and move on with their lives.

Meldofsky Law Firm is the sponsoring firm of this website.