Thousands of New York residents have had their childhood and innocence stolen from them by sexual abusers.
The terrifying magnitude of childhood sexual abuse by individuals within institutions and entrusted with their care is only now being revealed. While much of the media’s attention has concentrated on the clergy, it is clear that sexual abuse can and has happened in any institution where abusers have had access to children. Children of all ages have been subjected to sexual abuse in schools, clubs, sport teams, religious organizations, and other institutions.
If you were a victim of childhood sexual abuse, nothing can undo or remedy what happened. But for residents of New York State, the Child Victims Act, passed by the Legislature on 25th February 2019, and signed into law by Governor Cuomo, you may take legal action against your abuser, or the institution he/she/they represented.
Time to Bring a Lawsuit
The Child Victims Act allows an individual to bring a civil lawsuit against an abuser, his/her employer, or the institution where the abuse took place, until the age of 55.
Under previous laws, a civil case could only be commenced if the victim was under 23.
According to statistics from Child USA, the average age that victims disclose childhood sexual abuse is 52. The new law will lead to a huge increase in the number of sexual abuse cases which can be successfully prosecuted.
It is important to act quickly since the new law also provides a one-year window within which victims of any age can file a lawsuit against their abusers. These cases will be given a trial preference.
Importantly, the law includes both private and public institutions.
If you were the victim of childhood sexual abuse in New York while in the care and/or control of the Catholic Church, other religious institution, school, club, organization, or individual, it is important that you meet with an attorney without delay, to protect your rights.
We understand that this will not be easy.
But, at De Caro & Kaplen, LLP, we understand the fear, intimidation, and pain that you have experienced and suffered. We will treat you with compassion and respect. We are here to guide you through every step, provide you with necessary resources for counseling, and help you get the justice you deserve.
Our highly trained and experienced childhood sexual abuse lawyers will diligently investigate and advise you on the appropriate course of action, depending on the circumstances of your individual case.
For civil cases, we will seek monetary compensation from the individual and organization responsible for your abuse.
It is important that you start the legal process as soon as possible.
The new statute provides a 6-month preparation period for consultation with your lawyer, which runs until the middle of August 2019. Thereafter, you will have one-year within which to file a lawsuit against your abuser.
The institutions responsible for the abuse of children in their care must be held accountable.
Enacting and enforcing the Child Victims Act will help thousands of New Yorkers get the justice and monetary compensation they deserve.
If you or a family member were the victim of sexual abuse, please contact us today for a free consultation.
We are ready to help.
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