Urgent Update: Governor Cuomo Signs Child Victim Act One-Year Window Extension into Law 

Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts

On August 3, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation (S7082/A9036) extending the look back window for child sexual abuse victims to file civil claims under the Child Victims Act, regardless of when or how long ago the alleged abuse occurred, until August 14, 2021.  Since the new law’s inception, thousands of child sexual abuse survivors whose claims had been barred by the statute of limitations, have been able to pursue justice and accountability using the one year “window”.

Read more about these changes from sexual abuse victims defense lawyer Andrew Shubin below.

What is the Child Victims Act?

The Child Victims Act:

  • Increases the amount of time during which perpetrators of these crimes may be held criminally accountable;
  • Allows victims of these crimes to commence a civil lawsuit at any time before they reach 55 years of age;
  • Provides survivors seeking to file actions against public and private institutions for previously time-barred claims a new opportunity for their day in court by opening a one-year window, now extended to two years, for them to commence their civil action.

Details on the Changes to the Child Victims Act Window

According to Andrew Shubin, an attorney who works with child sexual abuse survivors throughout the nation and whose work on behalf on numerous Sandusky / Penn State victims was featured in the award winning documentary, Happy Valley, “the creation and extension of a statute of limitation window are critical to ensuring that survivors get justice and that institutions and the perpetrators they enable and embolden are held accountable.”  Shubin stated that “the window recognizes what we all know to be true – for many, many reasons, child abuse survivors are often unable to report what happened to them for decades.  “Institutions”, according to attorney Shubin, “cynically design their responses to those who do complain at the time of their abuse to string victims along until after the statute of limitations runs out.  The Child Victim’s Act’s window and extension empowers survivors to seek justice and protects all of our children by holding institutions like schools, athletic, religious and scouting organizations, health care providers, and camps, accountable when they betray the children they were supposed to protect.”