Child Victims Act, a Moral Obligation
The state of New York currently has a law that protects most sex offenders against prosecution once the abused child turns 23 (five years after the child turns 18). The victim can only file a suit against the abuser before their 23rd birthday mark. Emotional, physical and mental unhealth are often associated with the residual affects left behind after a sex crime is committed on a child. These effects could last a lifetime.
Quite often, victims of these crimes do not report the abuse to authorities until they are well into adulthood. Only a very small percentage (10-18%) of abused children report the crime while they are still young while around 80% of children do not disclose any spoken or written account until they are well into adulthood, well after their 23rd birthday which would protect offenders from crimes committed years before. More and more children fall victim to sex abuse because of the statute of limitations. Sex abuse is never one isolated time with one victim, but rather a pattern of abuse over time with several different children. With the statue lifted, victims will be able to seek justice after many years of emotional turmoil, and present day children will be protected from the same offender.
Governor Cuomo proposed an executive budget in hopes of changing the statute of limitations and administering the Child Victims Act. The budget would allow more influence and advantage toward Republicans in the Senate who have impeded passing the bill. If passed, victims would have up to 50th birthday to file any civil cases rather than up until their 23rd birthday, and up to age 28 to report felony cases, including rape. Over 77% of New Yorkers support the Child Victims Act despite boundaries of religion or political views.