“The word ‘victimization’ just means that at some point in time someone else was in control. This act puts survivors in control and gives them the ability to make a decision about what’s right for them,” Jeff Dion, CEO of the Zero Abuse Project, a nonprofit advocacy group, told the Daily News.
“We want survivors to make an informed decision about what’s right for them. We don’t want the decision made for them because the clock runs out,” Dion added.
The Zero Abuse Project and NY Loves Kids, a group founded by former speed skater and abuse survivor Bridie Farrell, will host an informational meeting in Queens on Tuesday with Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Queens) timed to alert abuse victims of the upcoming one-year civil window.
While lawyers won’t be on hand at the sessions, the advocates will offer attendees advice on how to pick an attorney and what types of questions to ask when seeking representation.
“There’s been a lot of publicity, but people aren’t necessarily aware of their rights. The statute of limitations has been expanded, and there’s still time for many victims to still bring suit,” Weprin said. “I think it’s important to make the community aware of that.”
Additional meetings will be held in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Syracuse in the coming weeks.
Safe Horizon, the largest victims service provider in the country, is helping to get the message out with an online push meant to ensure that attorney ads aren’t the only option when survivors seek information online. The nonprofit recently launched a detailed website with information about the Child Victims Act and how it has changed the playing field in survivors’ favor.