ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – If you were sexually abused as a child, regardless of your age today, the time is running out to take legal action.
Advocates say the New York’s Child Victims Act has given survivors a voice. Gary Greenberg is a survivor of sexual abuse and founder of Fighting for Children Political Action Committee.
He helped spearhead the Child Victims Act, which reformed a statute of limitations for survivors of sexual abuse to take legal action. Starting in 2019, victims of alleged abuse could file claims no matter how long-ago it occurred.
“It has empowered victims to be able to go into court and seek justice against a predator, abuser or institution,” said Gary Greenberg.
The New York’s childhood sex abuse ‘lookback window’ will close on Friday, August 13, 2021. However the New York Courts says you can submit online until Saturday, August 14.
The deadline was extended from August 13, 2020 due to COVID-19.
The New York Child Victims Act has temporarily lifted the statute of limitations allowing survivors of sexual abuse to take legal action.
This new law gave survivors the chance to break through the silence, shame, and isolation caused by sexual abuse and pursue justice and healing.
“We have a better chance of actually getting abusers off the streets and telling kids it’s okay to talk about this. They no longer have to hold it in for 20-30 years,” said Greenberg.
“We are joining hands and saying never again,” said Cynthia LaFave.
Cynthia LaFave is an attorney from the law firm of LaFave Wein & Frament. Her firm and Jeff Anderson & Associates have filed child sexual abuse complaints under the New York Child Victims Act.
LaFave says her firm has filed over 465 civil cases with adults who were child victims.
“It doesn’t matter their age this is something they have hidden their entire lives. It is so important to them now to be able to speak,” said she.
Greenberg says it’s not to late to come forward.
“I pray that everybody takes action to seek a claim and not fear anymore,” said he.