|Continuing Developments: the N.Y. Child Victims Act Has Passed the New York State Assembly Codes Committee
Reform the Statute of Limitations on Child Sexual Abuse
March 30, 2009
Assembly Bill A02596 (Child Victims Act) has passed the Codes Committee of the New York Assembly and is expected to move to a full vote! Go to our N.Y. Resources page here to view a few articles about who voted and where it goes from here. The next step is for the Assembly to pass the bill and then move on to the Senate. We still have a way to go so keep letting your representative know how important passage of the Child Victims Act truly is!
Why Must We Reform the SOLs?
Child sexual abuse is a larger national problem than we, as a society, anticipated. Research has shown that as many as one in four women and one in five men suffered abuse as a child and that almost 90% of abuse never gets reported.
Those that do come forward find themselves barred by the legal technicality of a statute of limitation. Considering how long victims often take to find the courage to speak out, the statute of limitations are woefully short and act as an arbitrary barrier to justice.
Find out how your state fares with regards to its SOLs in comparison to others by clicking the "What is a Statute of Limitation" link above and selecting your state.
Help the Current Effort in New York!
Efforts are moving forward in New York where the Child Victims Act has been introduced to the New York State Assembly as Assembly Bill A02596/Senate Bill S02568.
Read about the details of the bill by clicking here. Much like California's legislation in 2003, the Child Victims' Act will expand the statute of limitation for child sexual abuse and open a window for victims who are currently barred from justice to get their day in court.
Also, Professor Marci Hamilton of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law has posted an informative blog examining the upcoming bill. Click here to take a look. And see the discussions at the recent "The Evolving Balance" conference sponsored by the Cardozo Advocates for Kids by going to our Resources page here.
Click the link on the header bar above to contact your elected representative and lobby for change. You can find a few talking points about the bill by viewing the postcard sent to NY legislators to remind them of this important reform. Access it here.
How Can Legislators Help?
We encourage legislators from all states and federal elected officials in joining the movement to bring real change for victims of child sexual abuse. This site contains the information you need to get started in finding out why this reform is so crucial to the interests of society.
For a quick look at the situation and the solution, view our "Reforming Statutes of Limitations on Child Sex Abuse" one-pager by clicking here.
Also, legislators can familiarize themselves with the challenges and necessity of reform in this simple yet important area of the law by reading Marci Hamilton's book "Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children" (see below). The book was designed to be a roadmap or how-to guide for lawmakers in effecting SOL reform.
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