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What Is the New York Child Victims Act?

Passed in January 2019, the New York Child Victims Act extends the statute of limitations to prosecute sexual abuse against children. Under the new provisions, individuals who experienced sexual violence as children can seek justice from their attackers as adults. Before the passage of this act, the time frame expired before many child victims were able to come to terms with and report the sex crimes against them.

Updated Statute of Limitations

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Under the Child Victims Act, New York residents can file civil lawsuits against their childhood abusers any time before age 55. They can also seek criminal prosecution up to age 28. Victims previously lost their right to sue at age 22. This act also introduced a one-year grace period during which New York would accept childhood sex abuse claims from victims of any age, including those who previously failed to file a claim before the statute of limitations. In June 2020, the state legislature voted to extend this grace period until August 14, 2021, further opening opportunities for adult victims to have their voices heard.

New Criteria for Claims

The old laws in New York required a notice of claim to sue public institutions, which prevented many survivors from suing institutions that contributed to abuse. Under the Child Victims Act, victims can now sue both public and private organizations without the previously required notice of claim. As of late May 2020, more than 1,700 new lawsuits have been filed on behalf of child victims in New York state.

New York residents who are ready to speak up about childhood sexual abuse can trust the attorneys at Leav & Steinberg LLP to handle their cases with care and compassion. Learn about our reputation by exploring testimonials from our valued clients. Contact us at 212-766-5222 or complete our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our lawyers.