NEW YORK (07/10/2019) (readMedia)-- This morning Jennifer Araoz spoke to Savannah Guthrie on the Today Show, alleging that Jeffrey Epstein raped her when she was in high school. Guthrie asked Araoz to respod to the supposed stigma of pursuing a civil suit under the newly enacted Child Victims Act.
"What would you say to those who say a civil suit, lawyers, this is about getting money?"
To which Araoz responded:
"He hurt me badly, I'd prefer not to go through this, this is one way for me to get justice"
In response, Safe Horizon CEO Ariel Zwang issued the following statement:
"Jennifer Araoz -- and any survivor -- has every right to pursue justice under the law, if that's what she or he wants. No survivor should feel shame, or be shamed, for suing for their rights, especially not one who was abused or raped as a child. We fought to pass the Child Victim's Act so survivors can pursue the course that's right for them. I want every single survivor of child sexual abuse or any other kind of abuse to know: Safe Horizon supports you, and we are here to help."
Safe Horizon, the largest victims service provider in the country, fought for over a decade to include the contested "look back window" so that all survivors could have a pathway to justice in the courts. The look back window opens on August 14th.
Safe Horizon offers a hotline for those looking for support or just to talk with someone, call 1-800-621-HOPE.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CHILD VICTIMS ACT
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.