New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed the Adult Survivors Act (S.66A/A.648A) on May 24, 2022. It is set to take effect six months from the date of signing which means it will become active on November 24, 2022. The law provides a one-year “look back” window in which any person who was sexually assaulted or abused after reaching the age of majority (18 years old) may file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator.
New Laws Designed to Hold Predators Accountable
According to Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Brad Hoylman, who sponsored the Adult Survivors Act, “Adult survivors of serial sexual assaulters like Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein and former OB-GYN Robert Hadden have been shut out of our courthouses by inadequate statutes of limitations. That ends now. In 2019 we passed the Child Victims Act, which has helped more than 6,000 sexual assault survivors seek justice. The Adult Survivors Act extends that exact same opportunity to thousands more survivors, letting them hold their predators accountable in court. For far too long our justice system has failed survivors of sexual assault, the passage of the Adult Survivors act is a powerful step to fix that historic wrong. I’m grateful for Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ unflappable commitment to seek justice for survivors of sexual assault, and for the leadership and persistence of Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and so many incredible survivor-advocates.”
About the Adult Survivors Act
Similar to the Child Victims Act, the Adult Survivors Act will empower survivors of sexual offenses that occurred when they were over the age of 18. The one-year window will begin six months from signing and will allow survivors to sue regardless of the statute of limitations. For many survivors, it may take years to come to terms with the trauma of sexual assault and feel ready to seek justice against an abuser, while possibly experiencing fear of retaliation or shame.
The Adult Survivors Act recognizes the trauma of sexual abuse is not only limited to minors but profoundly affects the lives of adults who have been traumatized by these crimes. When I represented survivors in the Harvey Weinstein abuse saga, I witnessed the profound effects of such trauma on the lives of countless adults who often felt powerless to seek justice and confront their perpetrators.
The Time to Take Action Is Now
If you are an adult victim of sexual assault or abuse, I would be honored to speak with you and assist you in healing and seeking justice. I, Attorney Thomas Guiffra, have many years of experience listening to trauma survivors and helping them heal and seek justice in the courts. I am an advocate for those who’ve been sexually assaulted and abused and will listen to you with compassion and empathy. Please feel free to contact me for a free and confidential discussion of the circumstances of your case.