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Childhood Sexual Abuse Victims: The importance of filing now

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2019 | Sexual Abuse

Photo of Christopher Seleski

Being a victim of childhood sexual abuse negatively affects individuals as they progress into their adult lives. The consequences that follow them intervene with both their personal and professional lives.

While many men and women might not have felt comfortable speaking up or never had the chance, the New York government is now giving them that opportunity.

What is the Child Victims Act?

In the past, victims in New York had to file a civil report against their abuser before they reached 23 years old. Now, with the Child Victims Act in place, they have until they’re 55, while people registering a criminal case can do so until they are 28 years old.

One-year limitation

Having the opportunity to file a lawsuit against one’s alleged abuser is a milestone achievement for New Yorkers. However, many people felt the law still ostracized individuals who missed the age cut off. Many people who didn’t know they could get help or just missed the deadline are now capable of filing a suit against their perpetrators. Victims of childhood sexual abuse have a one-year window to seek help since the August 14th start date.

This window lets adults of any age file a case against their abuser.

Why file now?

Abused men and women might find it hard to come forward and speak out about their experiences. Some people even refrain from telling it to themselves or family members because it’s appalling to believe that an authority figure or someone older could do that to a child.

Nobody should blame themselves for not alerting someone right away. Although it’s ideal to speak out earlier rather than later, it is essential to understand why children don’t tell others what is happening to them.

It’s crucial for adults who fall outside of the age qualifications to act now against their perpetrators who stole a part of them, which will follow them for the rest of their lives.


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