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The Child Victims Act Passed! What This Means for Adult Survivors of Child Sex Abuse in New York State  

Child Victims Act CVA Passed 2019

By Michael Polenberg
January 28, 2018

For more than a decade Safe Horizon has been working to reform the statute of limitations in New York State for child sex abuse survivors. We have joined with a coalition of survivors, victim service providers, advocacy organizations, and national experts to advocate for legislation that would expand the ability for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to finally have their day in court. I am ecstatic to announce that these survivors can now seek the justice they deserve.

Background of the Child Victims Act and the History of the CVA in Albany

For many years, Safe Horizon has helped lead a coalition of survivors, advocates, organizations, law enforcement, and legislators from around the state to better align our laws with the experiences of childhood sexual abuse survivors. Known as the Child Victims Act (CVA), this legislation was created to enact meaningful and long-overdue statute of limitation reform.

In New York State, statute of limitation laws required most survivors of childhood sexual abuse to either file criminal charges or seek civil damages by the relatively young age of 23.

Thanks to our coalition of advocates and partners, the Child Victims Act has finally passed!

The Child Victims Act includes these three main components:

  • A new statute of limitations that allows civil lawsuits in child sex abuse cases for survivors to file until their 55th birthday.
  • A retrospective “window” of one year to allow victims over the age of 23 to be able to initiate a civil lawsuit.
  • A new statute of limitations that allows criminal cases to be prosecuted until the survivor’s 28th birthday

Please join us and share this post to celebrate this hard-earned victory for survivors!

  • Michael Polenberg, Vice President of Government Affairs