Skoufis and Zero Abuse Project Hold Child Victims Act Seminar

NEWBURGH – Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) hosted a forum in the City of Newburgh about the Child Victims Act, which was enacted into law this year. Skoufis has long advocated for the passage of this law since his tenure in the Assembly and was a champion of it in this year’s legislative session in the Senate. Previously, New York State had some of the strictest statutes of limitations laws in the entire country. The Child Victims Act allows survivors of child sex abuse to seek more justice from their abusers, including public and private institutions.

Under this new law:
* Survivors have up until age 28 to file a felony charge
* Until age 25 to file a misdemeanor charge
* Until age 55 to file a civil lawsuit
* The bill includes a one-year lookback window, currently in effect, allowing adult survivors to file civil claims even if the statute of limitations has passed
* This window expires on August 14, 2020

Senator James Skoufis said, “I’m extremely grateful to the survivors who shared their stories and engaged in powerful, challenging conversations surrounding the nature of this law. It’s incredibly important for me to hear from the very people this law is effecting so that if we have to go further, do more, or update the law, I have the information to advocate for them in the Legislature. I extend my sincerest thanks to the Zero Abuse Project for making the time to help bring this important information to my district. My office stands ready to give survivors the information they need to help them pursue the justice they deserve, whenever, however, and if-ever they chose to.”

“I want to thank Senator Skoufis for his efforts to assist survivors and protect the children of New York from future abuse. Because of this work, under the Child Victims Act, survivors of child sexual abuse can now seek justice and hold predators and the institutions that covered for them accountable for decades of abuse,” said Jeffrey Dion, CEO of Zero Abuse Project. “Moving forward, the new law also removes the perverse incentives for institutions to cover abuse as they can no longer just wait out a short statute of limitations to protect their reputation. The Child Victims Act is in fact our most powerful tool to stop abuse and protect kids.”

“Child sexual abuse is a crime of power that uses sex as a weapon,” said survivor, advocate, and Zero Abuse Project founding board member Joelle Casteix. “Predators know that child victims are likely not to report. Predators rely on institutions for access and cover-up. Now, with New York’s civil window, survivors can expose abusers who are still working with children today, as well as the institutions that cover it up. Senator Skoufis and the state of New York are sending a loud and clear message – predators and those who protect them are no longer safe.”

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