Billboards Accuse State Senators of Not Supporting Child Victims Act
By Rochelle Alleyne
May 8, 2018
Billboards calling out several local senators for allegedly not supporting the Child Victims Act have popped up along the 190 in South Buffalo.
The woman behind them is Kat Sullivan, a New York City based survivor of childhood sexual abuse that has been following this law for more than a decade.
The billboards specifically target state senators Pat Gallivan, Chris Jacobs and state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan.
Sullivan says she selected those leaders because they're opposed to keeping a clause that's present in the recently passed Assembly version of the bill.
The "window clause" as it's called, would open a "one year window" for adult survivors to revive cases that have expired.
"The Child Victims Act would allow survivors of childhood sexual abuse to come forward when they are ready,” said Sullivan.
Both local leaders have released statements in response.
From State Sen. Chris Jacobs:
"Having advocated for children for over 20 years, as a founder of the Bison Scholarship Fund and a former school board member, I am sickened by the stories of child sexual abuse. I am supporting several pieces of legislation to lengthen the time period a victim can bring a legal action against a perpetrator and I am hopeful that an agreement will happen before the legislative session ends this year."
From State Sen. Pat Gallivan:
“I certainly support doing everything necessary to prevent the sexual victimization of children and to hold those who commit these heinous acts accountable. In addition to the work the Senate has already advanced toward that end, I co-sponsor legislation (S4809) extending the criminal and civil statutes of limitation in these matters. I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues in an effort to pursue comprehensive and meaningful reform as part of the regular legislative process.”
“I am pleased to report that today the Senate passed a bill I sponsored (S7372B) to close a loophole in existing law regarding reporting requirements of sexual abuse allegations in educational institutions. This legislation makes it mandatory for all schools, public and private, to report instances of abuse and expands the list of those required to report such allegations. The Assembly has already passed the bill and it will be sent to the governor for his consideration.”
State Sen. Flanagan did not immediately return a request for comment.
Sullivan says she won't stop until the bill is passed.
The current batch of billboards will stay up for a few more weeks, but soon she’s planning to reveal another one, which demands that the state Senate hold a hearing and pass the law before their summer break.