22 May Child Victims Act Resource Guide
On Monday February 14, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act into law. There are three components to the law:
- This legislation allows those who are victims of child sexual assault to bring civil lawsuits up until their 55th birthday (as opposed to 23). If survivors were eligible to file a civil law suit before the passage of this law, it also allows these survivors to file up until age 55, though legal experts recommend filing sooner if possible.
- This legislation would allow the criminal prosecution of many sexual offenses committed against children, to begin up until the age of 23 rather than by age 18.
- It also allows childhood survivors of sexual abuse, who could not file a civil lawsuit because they did not start a suit by the time they were 23 years of age, a one-year period to file a civil action for damages. There is no age limit on bringing these actions during this “window”. The “window” is set to commence 6 months from the signing of the law, or August 14, 2019. You can find the full law here.
The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault with the collaboration of New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault have come up with the following resource guide to help survivors navigate their way through this challenging experience.
Counseling and Advocacy:
- New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Find your local rape crisis center: https://www.nyscasa.org/get-help/find-your-local-rape-crisis-program
- New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault: Survivor Resources: http://www.svfreenyc.org/survivor-resources
- 1in6: https://1in6.org
- Safe Horizon Sexual Assault Hotline: (212) 227-3000
- Culturally Specific Resources
- Survivors of Incest Anonymous
Civil Legal Resources:
- New York City Bar Association: https://www.nycbar.org
- New York State Bar Association: http://www.nysba.org
- FaithTrust Institute: http://www.faithtrustinstitute.org
Mental Health Resources:
- Office of Mental Health: https://my.omh.ny.gov/bi/pd/saw.dll?PortalPages
- NYS Trauma-Informed Network: https://traumainformedny.org
- New York State Office of Victim Services: https://ovs.ny.gov
- Vera House, Inc. Information and Resources: https://www.verahouse.org/child-victims-act
Safe Horizon has created resources to help guide adult survivors of child sexual abuse through the process: