Editorial: One year, six months: Survivors have a closing window to seek justice long-denied
February 16, 2020
|He started the clock and the time is half over.|
Photo by Mark Woodward
Friday was the one-year anniversary of Gov. Cuomo coming to the Daily News, which led a drumbeat of survivor advocacy over the last few years, to sign the Child Victims Act into law. The statute is bringing a modicum of justice to those sexually abused as minors by extending the statute of limitations for many offenses on both the criminal and civil side.
Friday also marked the midway point of a key CVA provision: a year-long lookback window permitting survivors previously blocked by the statute of limitations to file lawsuits against abusers and the institutions that allowed abuse to happen or subsequently covered it up.
Since the window opened on Aug. 14, there have been 1,547 CVA court filings statewide. Given New York’s population, that’s not an outrageous number. Some supporters already are calling for the lookback extended beyond next August’s end date. So far, it’s a bit premature to make that call.
But anyone struggling with whether to come forward to seek justice for abuse suffered as a child: We understand this is a deeply personal decision, but now is the time to dig deep, consult with family and lawyers, and decide.
The fight for the Child Victims Act was grueling for all concerned. Success required remarkable feats of bravery from many men and women who pushed aside decades of trauma to share their experiences. Draw strength from them.