ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– Starting November 24, the one year look back window begins for adult survivors to file civil claims against their abusers or the institution that may have protected them. Those who were over the age of 18 when the abuse occurred will be able to sue their abusers regardless of when the assault happened.
“A lot of survivors across the state of New York are going to get another chance at justice because they didn’t have the wherewithal or the ability to file claims originally. For many survivors of sexual abuse it takes time to come to terms with that abuse,” explained Senator Brad Hoylman.
This law was signed by Governor Hochul back in May and is something survivor Marissa Hoechstetter advocated for.
“I was really privileged to be able to stand up there with her and see that, but it really is about making space for so many other people to come forward,” said Hoechstetter. “And we are already seeing that people are preparing to file lawsuits, people are ready to add their voices so for me, that is really the most rewarding getting to see this lookback window now open.”
She and Senator Brad Hoylman said those interested in bringing a lawsuit should first talk with a lawyer and can reach out to organizations such as Safe Horizon that specialize in helping victims.
In 2019, similar legislation passed called the Child Victim’s Act.
“Over 10,000 adult survivors of child sexual abuse came forward during the two years that the Child Victims Act retroactive window was open,” said Hoylman. “So we expect to see a very large number of survivors come forward under the Adult Survivors Act as well.”