“No One is More Vulnerable”
By Melanie Blow
New York’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman urged the entire New York legislator to support the Child Victims Act, a bill that close New York’s Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse.
The Child Victims Act eliminates the criminal and civil Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse. It means the people who sexually abuse children never get to say “I got away with it” on a particular day. Because right now, they do.
Although the bill has been criticized, including in this New York Daily News article, for not protecting children sexually abused in the public sector, the 90-day municipal Statutes of Limitations law is waived regularly. New York’s Statutes of Limitations for child sexual abuse, one of the most draconian laws in the country has been upheld many times, meaning that the people who sexually abuse children are likely to escape all consequences, while the Adverse Childhood Experiences study by the CDC proves their victims will have to endure consequences for the rest of their lives.
The Child Victims Act ensures sex offenders who are currently above the law no longer are, protecting other children from sexual abuse, ensuring fewer new victims, and saving taxpayers the cost of paying for the lifelong educational, healthcare, and criminal justice consequences of child sexual abuse.
Schneiderman is correct when he says “No one is more vulnerable than children who have been the victims of sexual abuse” . Survivors of child abuse are more likely to suffer from a host of physical and mental illnesses. They are more likely to die young. They are more likely to be victims of rape and domestic violence as adults. They are more likely to live in poverty. All of that adds up to people who are less likely to be able to benefit from the trappings of adulthood when they receive it. In a particularly cruel twist of fate, survivors’ emotional and financial distress often keep them dependent on their family, the source of their abuse about half the time. A survivor who is dependent on their family is unlikely to press charges on their incestuos family until their circumstances change; which probably won’t be before their 23rd birthday.
Sex abuse survivors are vulnerable. They deserve time to heal before they seek justice, and they deserve the opportunity to sue their abusers for the damage done to them. The actual cost of child sexual abuse has been calculated at $210,000 for the victim. Right now, taxpayers shoulder most of that burden and sex offenders shoulder very little of it. The Child Victims Act changes that.
The New York legislator can choose to protect either the vulnerable, or their predators. There is no middle ground. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is an influential figure. His voice is appreciated by all survivors. Please add your voice to his. Sign the petition below, then call Senator Flannigan at +1-518-455-2071 and tell him to support the Child Victims Act.