The Child Victims Act will help survivors heal


“The Child Victims Act supports victims on their own terms, and in doing so, offers real hope for Healing.” — Bivona Child Advocacy Center’s Executive Director, Deb Rosen

Today at 2 pm, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo will give his 2019 State of the State Address, and his executive budget for the next year — which includes the Child Victims Act. Current laws only allow victims to seek a case against their abuser until their 23 birthday. Under the Child Victims Act, that statute of limitations is extended to the victim’s 50th birthday.

Especially encouraging for us here at Bivona, is the added announcement that the Child Victims Act is part of Cuomo’s Justice Agenda, and he vows to enact it in the first 100 days of the new legislative session, which officially began on January 9.

Over her tenure at Bivona, our Executive Director, Deb Rosen, has spoken openly, and often on the issue and the impact its passage will have on victims of child sexual abuse.

“It is simply unreasonable to expect that a person who has been victimized during their most vulnerable years would be able to collect themselves within an artificial period of time to take action against their perpetrator. It flies in the face of what we know about the experience of sexual abuse, and it flies in the face of victims’ rights.”

The Bill has had consistent bipartisan support in the State Assembly, passing by a wide margin when introduced. But it has stalled in the Senate. This past September, Republican Senator, Rich Funke reached across the divide and asked others to join him. In an editorial printed in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on September 28, Funke called for unity in working towards justice.

“The Child Victims Act has languished in the New York State Senate for far too long … it is long past time to sit down at the table, hammer out a final version of the bill and pass it in the Senate. Each day, I tell my staff to go out and do the right thing. Providing access to justice for survivors of childhood sexual abuse is the right thing to do.”

To learn more about Cuomo’s plans for New York State in 2019, and learn more about his Justice Agenda, catch a live stream of Cuomo’s State of the State Address at 2 p.m.