Victims of child sex abuse often experience long-lasting emotional and psychological damage because of what happened to them. In many cases, victims of this kind of abuse do not feel comfortable coming forward about what happened until later in life. Previously, survivors of sex abuse in New York were often barred by statutes of limitations if they wanted to file a claim against their abuser.
However, legislation enacted last year allowed for sex abuse survivors in cases that had been previously time-barred to file a claim against their abuser by August 14, 2020. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has limited the ability of survivors and their attorneys to file a claim due to court closures. Now, Governor Andrew Cuomo has extended the number of time victims have to file claims.
When New York’s Child Victims Act was passed last year, there was no way to know that a pandemic was looming on the horizon. The August 14, 2020 date for victims to file claims against their abusers seemed sufficient. However, most court activity has been reduced or eliminated altogether in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. That is why Gov. Cuomo has decided to extend the filing deadline for child sex abuse claims that were previously barred by statutes of limitation to January 14, 2021.
“Because of the reduction in court services, we want to extend that window and we’ll extend it for an additional five months until Jan. 14, , because people need access to the courts to make their claim,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Justice too long delayed is justice denied, Martin Luther King Jr. said. So we will extend that window for people to bring their case.”
Manhattan state Senator Brad Hoylmanwas pleased with Gov. Cuomo’s decision, but he was quick to point out that the dire state of New York’s economy may still keep victims from filing claims by the new deadline. He said that it is “unreasonable to expect survivors of child sexual abuse to do the emotional and legal work necessary to file CVA lawsuits while simultaneously fighting to pay rent and put food on the table.”
Right now, there are no plans to extend the Child Victims Act deadlines further, but this could change in the future as we get closer to that date.
If you or somebody you love has been the victim of child sexual abuse, you need to seek assistance from a skilled New York child sex abuse attorney with vast experience handling these cases. At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., our skilled and experienced team will get to work investigating your claim so we can file a civil lawsuit against your abuser before the filing deadline. Our goal is to ensure that you obtain justice for what happened and that you are properly compensated. You can contact our New York child sex abuse attorneys for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 866-597-8572. It is time to stand up for your rights, and we will be proud to be your voice throughout your entire case.