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Joseph H. Saunders
Joseph H. Saunders
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NY Legislature Considering Sex Abuse Bill to Help Victims

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It’s not the first time the New York State Legislature has considered measures that would open up the statute of limitations for sexual abuse victims. However, this year, the Child Victims Act, has a very good chance of becoming law. The proposal, if it makes it to the Governor’s desk, would provide sexual abuse victims a one year window during which they could seek civil justice against the perpetrators as well as the institutions that covered up for them.

The bill does face stiff opposition from the NY Catholic Conference whose lobbying efforts will be aggressive and prodigious. As usual the NY Catholic dioceses argue that the bill unfairly targets institutions like the Catholic Church. In their argument, they neglect the fact that hundreds if not thousands of New York sexual abuse victims have suffered at the hands of priests in the Dioceses of Albany, Rochester, Ogdensburg, Rockville Centre, Brooklyn, Syracuse, and the Archdiocese of New York.

The newly appointed Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan has yet to weigh in on the legislation. However, it’s widely believed he will go along with his brother bishops in the State by vigorously opposing the Child Victims Act.

Let’s hope the NY State legislators have the courage to do the right thing for victims.