Were you or a loved one sexually abused as an adult?
The New York Adult Survivors Act, which takes effect in November 2022, will allow a one-year window for survivors of adult sexual abuse in New York to file a lawsuit, even when the statute of limitations has already expired.
You may be eligible for compensation
If the abuse occurred as an adult, victims now have a right to seek compensation for their trauma and should seek legal advice from experienced counsel.
On May 24, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Adult Survivors Act into law. The law, introduced by Senator Brad Hoylman in October 2019, opens a revival period for time-barred civil lawsuits. It is similar to New York’s Child Victims Act.
During the Adult Survivors Act revival window, adult victims of sexual violence with expired claims have a renewed chance to sue their abusers and any responsible organizations. This window will open six months from the date of the bill’s signing.
The Adult Survivors Act Helps Those Who Didn’t Come Forward
Survivors may file against their abusers. They may also sue the institutions that protected their abusers, such as churches, schools, and corporations.
Many survivors who were abused in New York may see justice under the Adult Survivors Act. Many studies show that most survivors were abused between ages 14 and 27, and, the Adult Survivors Act is an important addendum to the CVA, which only applied to survivors abused before they turned 18.
The law’s enactment also reflects that abuse, unlike other crimes, is often not reported, and it usually takes time for adults and children to come to terms with their abuse.
It also takes time for survivors to feel safe taking legal action against an abuser. The law removes the protection provided to predators by New York’s statute of limitations for sexual offenses.
Countless survivors stand to benefit from the Adult Survivors Act. Adult victims of rideshare assault, food delivery assault, and church sexual abuse would also have a revived chance at justice and compensation.
The Adult Survivors Act follows the design of the Child Victims Act (CVA). Signed into law in February of 2019, the CVA opened a one-year “look back” window for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The original window was extended in 2020 following COVID-19-related court closures. It closed on August 14, 2021.
The largest settlement to date was paid by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. In 2007, the archdiocese paid $660 million to settle claims with 508 victims of clergy abuse. Each claimant received roughly $1.3 million.
Since enacment of CVA, thousands of child sex abuse lawsuits were filed. Survivors filed more than 9,000 church sex abuse lawsuits in that time. Many of these survivors have received compensation through settlements while several New York dioceses also declared bankruptcy as a result of these lawsuits.