Cuomo extends window for Child Victims Act
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the state will extend the window for victims to file otherwise time-barred cases under the Child Victims Act for an additional five months until January 14, 2021. Last year, Governor Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act to ensure survivors of childhood sexual abuse have a path to justice, including the ability to file a case which had already been time-barred or expired, but only for one year, that window to file an expired or time-barred case was set to close Aug. 14, but the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a reduction in court services that has limited survivors’ ability to file claims and effectively prepare their cases with an attorney.
The Governor also announced that dozens of events are taking place across New York State over the next week to kick off the Nourish New York Initiative. The initiative, launched last week by the Governor, is providing $25 million to food banks for the purchase of surplus agricultural products from New York State farms to distribute to populations who need them most. The first event took place today on Long Island, where the Island Harvest Food Bank held a drive-through food distribution event to provide New York grown and produced products to 3,000 families impacted by the coronavirus. The state’s other food banks are each holding similar events over the next week, which are expected to help put food on the table for 20,000 households that have been impacted by COVID-19.
“Many aspects of society have been closed down or are less operational during this pandemic, and the court system is among them,” Governor Cuomo said. “Last year we passed the Child Victims Act in New York which allowed survivors of sexual abuse as children to file a claim until August. Because of the reduction in court services due to the virus, we are extending that window for an additional five months until January 14th to ensure survivors have the access to the courts that they need to file a claim and get the long-overdue justice they deserve. And I would like to thank Senator Hoylman and Assemblymember Rosenthal for continuing to champion this issue so that COVID-19 does not defer justice for these survivors.”