New York’s Adult Survivors Act went into effect on Thanksgiving Day. It’s a law which allows adult survivors of sexual abuse to bring civil lawsuits against their perpetrators and for claims that were beyond the statute of limitations, it provides a year in which to bring claims that had been stale.
Among the cases filed on Thursday involved former President Donald Trump. Writer E Jean Carroll has sued Donald Trump in the US state of New York for allegedly raping her in the 1990s. Ms Carroll, 78, was among the first to sue under the Adult Survivors Act, which came into effect on Thursday.
The state law allows a one-year period for victims to file sexual assault lawsuits in New York over claims that would have otherwise exceeded statute limitations.
The former president has denied the allegations against him.
Ms Carroll alleges the attack took place in a New York luxury department store dressing room 27 years ago.
Others are also planning to file lawsuits under the new law.
This includes a planned class action lawsuit against Robert Hadden, a former gynaecologist at hospitals tied to New York-Presbyterian and Columbia University, who has been accused by dozens of patients of sexual abuse.
Mr Hadden was convicted in 2016 on sex-related charges in state court, but has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of abusing female patients over two decades.
Advocates for survivors of sex abuse believe the legislation provides an opportunity for people to come forward who may not have done so previously due to trauma or fear of retaliation.
Several other states have also extended or temporarily eliminated their statues of limitation on sex crimes in the wake of the #MeToo movement in 2018, including New Jersey, California, Arizona and Montana.
If you or a loved one are a survivor of sexual abuse as an adult, please contact us immediately for a free, initial consultation. We are experienced in handling these situations. We recognize these cases require more than legal acumen. We are compassionate, confidential, and understand the trauma of sexual abuse. We are here to help you in your quest for justice and healing.