Assemblymember McMahon: Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse Have Had to Wait Too Long for Justice

Assemblymember Karen McMahon (D-Amherst/Pendleton) announced that she helped pass legislation to give more survivors of childhood sexual abuse the chance to face their abusers in court. The bill known as the Child Victims Act, extends the civil and criminal statutes of limitations and establishes a one-year “look-back window” during which victims can revive cases that had previously expired (A.2683).

“Childhood sexual abuse victims have been silenced and their trauma swept under the rug for too long” said McMahon. “With this legislation, we can at least ensure that if and when they are finally ready to come forward with their stories, they’ll be given their day in court.”

The legislation would extend the statutes of limitation for criminal cases, allowing them to be commenced until the victim turns 28 for felonies and 23 for misdemeanors. The bill would also push back the statute of limitations to permit civil actions to be brought against abusers until the victim’s 55th birthday. Further, the measure creates a one-year window for survivors to revive civil cases that, under current las, are barred because that statute of limitations has expired. These cases would also receive trial preference to help move through the court more quickly.

“This legislation will give a voice to New Yorker's who have suffered unspeakable abuse and will hold sexual predators accountable.”