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New York Child Victims Act

New York Child Victims Act

For a decade in New York various victims’ advocate groups have been lobbying to eliminate the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse. Recently Governor Cuomo stated: “We continue to work with the advocates to build the political support to get it passed which does not exist at the current time.”

Statute of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse

The purpose of the Child Victims Act would be to eliminate the current statute of limitations which requires either a civil or criminal case be brought within five (5) years of an alleged incident. The current law also requires criminal cases to be brought within three (3) years of the victim’s turning 18 years of age. The Child Victims Act allows a one year period during which an individual over 23 years of age can bring a civil lawsuit for alleged child abuse.

Victims Advocate Groups

Victims advocate groups argue that victims of child abuse are often unable to fight through the psychological trauma related to the child abuse until they are adults. Robert Hoatson, a Attorney Elliot Schlisselformer priest, has indicated he did not go public with regard to being abused as a child until he was 50 years old. He claims to have been abused from age 3 to 29. He had stated: “There is no statute of limitations on the murder of a body. Why is there a statute of limitations on the murder of a soul?”

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