At Safe Horizon we know that sexual assault survivors process and heal on their own timeline. Many people need years, or even decades, to come forward, seek help, share their experience, and pursue justice. The reality is that #traumatakestime.
Laws have historically been out of step with the science of trauma and the realities survivors face. Over the years, Safe Horizon has led coalitions of advocates, survivors, and lawmakers, urging the New York State legislature to remove barriers to safety for victims of violence and abuse.
After working tirelessly for decades, we celebrated a historic victory for survivors when the Adult Survivors Act (ASA) became law in 2022. The ASA made it possible for survivors of sexual violence to seek justice by filing a civil lawsuit against the person who caused them harm, even if the harm occurred many years ago. When the ASA’s ‘lookback window’ closed on November 24, 2023, over 3,000 suits had been filed.
It is our hope that these lawsuits will finally spur lasting, meaningful change in how our society addresses attitudes towards sexual assault.
Safe Horizon, the Adult Survivors Act Coalition, and bill sponsors Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal and Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal proudly led the statewide, multiyear campaign for the ASA. We could not do this work without this collective support, courage, and determination.
While the lookback window is closed, we remain committed to fighting for more pathways to justice for survivors.
More About the Adult Survivors Act?
On May 24, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Adult Survivors Act (ASA) into law, granting survivors of sexual assault an opportunity to heal and seek justice.
The Adult Survivors Act created a special one-year look-back window, allowing survivors whose case or claim had expired outside the statute of limitations, and who were 18 or older when they were sexually assaulted in New York State, to file a lawsuit against the person who harmed them and/or the negligent institution.
The one-year window allowed survivors to sue, even if they were already outside of the civil statute of limitations.
The ASA window opened on November 24, 2022, and closed on November 24, 2023.
Adult Survivors Act News Coverage
The ASA window may be closed, but we are proud of how many spoke up and advocated on behalf of survivors. Click here for a snapshot of all the outlets we were mentioned in.
More on the Adult Survivors Act
To watch an ASA Q&A session with our panel of lawyers and legal experts, click here.