Thursday afternoon The Adult Survivors Act (S.66/A.648) passed in the New York Senate, 62-0. This pass from the Senate brings the measure closer to becoming law than it had been in recent years and expands current restrictions survivors face when reporting harassment.
Adult survivors of sexual abuse in New York would be given a one-year window for the revival of time-barred civil lawsuits based on sex crimes committed against individuals who were 18 years of age or older. Meaning victims would have one year after the bill became law to file a civil claim, no matter how long ago the abuse happened.
The Adult Survivors Act (ASA) was sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Brad Hoylman (Manhattan-D/WFP) and Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (Manhattan-D/WFP), and models after the Child Victims Act that got officially passed this year.
Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat who also sponsored the CVA said in a statement after the bill passed, “I’m grateful for Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ unflappable commitment to seek justice for survivors of sexual assault,” thanking the leadership and persistence from so many survivor advocates and the leadership and persistence of Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal.
Executive Director of Center for the Independence of the Disabled, Susan Dooha, said “people with disabilities have experienced abuse by doctors or therapists. They have been silent because they needed treatment and had a limited number of practitioners available to them. They feared rejection and retaliation by the practitioners they turned to for help,” standing by the Adult Survivors Act because it “allows more time to process the ordeal and overcome fears of coming forward.”
Having passed the New York Senate, the Adult Survivors Act moves to the Assembly where it is to be decided whether to pass or not. The Assembly has not indicated whether the bills will pass.
The Sexual Harassment Working Group urged the Assembly to pass all the bills before the session ends next week. “We are very familiar with the patterns of this chamber to block, delay, and run out the clock on survivors and the legislation that would protect them as a means of providing cover for serial abusers,” said in their official statement. Adding if failing “to pass this package of bills, including one eliminating the “license to harass” for state employees (S3395 Gounardes/A2483A Niou), and the Adult Survivors Act, the Assembly is continuing a 20-year practice of protecting abusers and the institutions that shelter them.”
You are not alone
Know that your friends and trusted family are there for you even if it doesn’t feel like it.
If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 if in the United States.
- National Sexual Assault Hotline. Available 24 hours. Their website.
- 1-800-656-4673 ALSO offers chat.
- Crisis Text Line. Available 24 hours. Their website.
- US and Canada: text 741741
- UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Available 24 hours. Their website.
- 800-273-8255 ALSO offers chat.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline. Available 24 hours. Their website.
- 1-800-799-7233 ALSO offers chat.