Today, the Adult Survivors Act (S.66/A.648), sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.
This legislation would create 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.
Senator Brad Hoylman said: “Whether your abuser was a famous actor or a family member, you deserve your day in court. But for far too long our justice system has failed survivors of sexual assault. New York has made historic strides to protect survivors by passing the Child Victims Act and prospectively extending the criminal and civil statute of limitations for adult survivors, but we must do more for those who were shut out of the courthouse by New York’s formerly inadequate statutes of limitations. I proudly stand with Safe Horizon, Assembly Member Rosenthal and so many incredible survivor-advocates in the fight to pass the Adult Survivors Act. I’m grateful for Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ firm commitment to fighting for survivors of sexual assault.”
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Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan), Chair of the Committee on Social Services said: “The Adult Survivors Act (ASA) will provide survivors of sexual assault an opportunity to seek justice, a perhaps a measure of closure, in the courts. Just like the Child Victims Act, New York’s short statute of limitations on sexual assault protects abusers and the institutions that harbored them. As we fight to move toward a survivor-centered and trauma-informed system of justice, it is vital that New York right a grievous wrong by passing the ASA into law. My colleagues in the New York Assembly understand the harm that sexual violence causes survivors, and I will fight, alongside Brad Hoylman in the New York State Senate to see the ASA become law.”
Senator Hoylman and Assembly Member Rosenthal first introduced the Adult Survivors Act in 2019, after successfully passing the long-awaited Child Victims Act (S2440/A2683) through the State Legislature earlier that year.
More than 5,200 New Yorkers have used the CVA to seek justice since it was signed into law. In 2021, the Senate passed the Adult Survivors Act unanimously.
The Adult Survivors Act institutes a similar one-year look-back window for survivors of sex crimes who were 18 years of age or older at the time these crimes were committed.
This December, one of the survivors of sexual assault from Sex and the City and And Just Like That star, Chris Noth, vowed to fight for passage of the Adult Survivors Act to hold the actor accountable for his assault.
For New Yorkers who survived sexual abuse as adults, including those in the political arena, entertainment world or in any other institution, the Adult Survivors Act would be an especially important mechanism for restorative justice.
Underage victims are already able to pursue justice under the Child Victims Act, but the survivors who were 18 or older at the time of their abuse, before New York extended statutes of limitations in 2019, currently have limited legal remedies.
The Adult Survivors Act would rectify this injustice by providing these survivors with a shot at justice they were previously denied.