Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) today released the following statement after her bill to extend the Child Victims Act one-year lookback window by an additional year was signed into law. Survivors of childhood sexual assault now have until August 14, 2021 to file a civil claim against their abuser or the institutions that harmed them. State Senator Hoylman is the Senate sponsor.
“Fighting to pass the Child Victims Act in 2019, the legislation that extended the statute of limitations in both criminal and civil childhood sexual assault cases, was one of the most difficult and rewarding endeavors of my professional career. The one-year window that the Child Victims Act opened was a watershed for survivors, allowing them to file claims against their abusers that would otherwise have been time barred. It recognized the unique trauma experienced by people who are sexually abused as children.
“After a 13-year-long battle against powerful institutions like the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts of America and insurance companies to win the one-year window, it was unconscionable that survivors were losing months of precious time to file a claim because of COVID-19 court closures and chaos. How could one be expected to do the difficult emotional labor and practical work of filing a CVA case if they lost their job or a loved one because of COVID-19?
“Extending the CVA window was necessary before COVID-19 because survivors needed more time. COVID-19 made it a moral and legal imperative. I, my colleagues and the countless survivors who have suffered in silence for so long are overjoyed that the doors to justice have not been closed to them. I will continue to fight to secure justice for survivors of sexual assault, regardless of their age, and I want to thank my Senate partner Brad Hoylman for this commitment to this issue and Governor Cuomo for finally signing the CVA one-year extender into law.”
Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. She represents the 67th Assembly district, which includes the Upper West Side and Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods in Manhattan.