Safe Horizon Launches New Website for the Child Victims Act

New law extends the statute of limitations for both civil and criminal cases, opens one year window for survivors of any age to sue their abusers.

NEW YORK (07/16/2019) (readMedia)-- Safe Horizon - the largest victims service provider in the country - has launched a website to inform survivors about their rights under the Child Victims Act. The Child Victims Act, passed this January, extends the statute of limitations in New York State to 28 years old for criminal cases and 55 years old for civil cases and crucially, opens a one year window for survivors over 23 to file civil cases against their abusers and any institutions that may have enabled them. The one year window opens August 14th.

The website is a necessary and trusted resource for survivors. Since the Child Victims Act passed in January, lawyers have been buying up google ads aimed directly at soliciting business from survivors and sometimes misconstruing their rights under the law.

"Safe Horizon worked for years to pass the Child Victims Act so that more survivors could seek justice in the courts," said Ariel Zwang, Safe Horizon CEO. "Now it is our responsibility to make sure those survivors know how this new law can help them. The website will educate survivors so they can make the decision that is right for them. We know this is hard, and Safe Horizon is here to help."

The comprehensive website educates the public and survivors about what their rights are under the new law, answers frequently asked questions and provides guidance for survivors seeking legal assistance. The launch is part of a broader public information campaign focused on wide-ranging outreach and education. Those looking for support or just to talk with someone can call 1-800-621-HOPE.


What does the Child Victims Act do?

The Child Victims Act gives survivors of child sexual abuse more time to seek justice in our courts. Moving forward under the law survivors who were under the age of 23 on February 14, 2019 will now have until:

Their 55th birthday to file a civil lawsuit against their abuser.

Their 25th birthday to file criminal misdemeanor charges against their abusers and their 28th birthday to file criminal felony charges.

The CVA also creates a one year "window," beginning in mid-August 2019 through August 2020, when ANY adult survivor of child sexual abuse can file a civil lawsuit against their abuser and/or a negligent institution, no matter how long ago the abuse took place.

What does the one-year window do?

The one-year window allows any survivor who had aged out of the previous statute of limitations to file civil charges.

This includes survivors who have never filed a case or claim and those whose cases were dismissed because of the previous statute of limitations. Survivors of ANY age can file a civil case during the window.

When can survivors file a suit under the one-year window?

Suits can be filed between August 2019 and August 2020. These claims do not need to be finished before August 2020, just filed.