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New “Look Back Window” Law Allows Old Abuse Claims to be Heard

The Primary: The Child Victims Act signed into law in January by NY Governor Cuomo takes effect today, providing a year-long “look back window,” which allows victims of childhood sex abuse to bring forward cases that have passed the statute of limitations.

Who? What? Why?: Hundreds of cases are expected to be filed in the coming year, with expected targets of lawsuits including the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts of America, schools and hospitals and the recently deceased Jeffrey Epstein.

The Baseline: Previously, a victim of childhood abuse in the state of New York was given until the age of 23 to file a claim against an abuser. Now, that window is extended indefinitely, allowing any person who was sexually abused as a child to come forward and file a claim as long as they do it in the next year.

From the Left: Two NY Democratic lawmakers, Brad Hoylman  and Linda Rosenthal, say they helped pass the bill because every victim deserves the law to protect their claims against sexual abusers. For Rosenthal and Hoylman, its unfathomable that by the time someone got the courage to speak, there was no legal recourse. To them, it is imperative that these claims are heard in order for both society and the individual to heal.

From the Right: The New York Post Editorial Board warns of the negative consequences of the Child Victims Act, saying the move could drain public schools of much needed funds. They say as much as the bill is important, legislators need to be careful of the cost of such endeavors.

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