The passage of this bill which will open the civil statute of limitations for one year for ALL victims regardless of age or how long ago the abuse occurred. The ensuing flood of lawsuits would deal a death blow to the bad guys.
Write your State Senator
Although the New York State Assembly has passed the Child Victims Act by an overwhelming bi-partisan vote, the work is only half done. State Senate leader Joseph Bruno has inexplicably prevented the Act from coming to a vote in the Senate. Please strongly ask your Senator to urge the leader to release this bill for a fair vote.
By telling a bit of your personal story in the letter, even in one sentence, you will make the letter more memorable and effective.
1 - Are you a parent or grandparent?
2 - Survivor of child sexual abuse or a relative or friend of a survivor?
3 - Concerned member of an institution in which children have been abused?
4 - Mental health or medical professional?
5 - law enforcement officer?
6 - Social worker?
7 - substance abuse counselor?
8 - Teacher?
Should you send an e-mail?
Not all legislators check emails regularly, but do pay attention to personal, especially hand-written, letters. You might call your Senator's office to ask how e-mails are handled.
Sample Letter to your Senator:
To find your Senator's name and address, click here and enter your zip code.
Dear Senator (NAME),
I am a constituent writing to voice my strong desire to have the Child Victim’s Act, S4614-A, brought to the Senate floor for a fair vote. Please give your full and active support to this important legislation for the safety of our children. I know that many others in your district are outraged because children are not being protected while their predators are shielded by the law.
I support this bill for two key reasons: (1) it will expose sexual predators who have molested and raped in the past and are still victimizing children. In fact, many children are at risk right now and will remain at risk because of our archaic statute of limitations; (2) I believe that childhood sexual abuse victims deserve a day in court to confront their sexual abusers and those who enabled them.
New York needs both an extension of the statute of limitations and a temporary “window” that will suspend the SOL for just one year. The Markey-Saland Child Victims Act (A04560B-S4614A) meets both of these criteria. Our children must have the passage of this Act, without amendments.
Mental health practitioners have testified that many people who were sexually abused as children do not have the ability to come forward until decades have passed. Courts have recognized the validity of repression of memory and recovery after decades.
Yet, New York's law is too weak in this regard. Under current law, victims have only five years after maturity for prosecution or to make a claim for damages. Once the statute of limitations has expired, they have no recourse to justice. But their perpetrators are often still at large, and are certain to harm more innocent children. When California established a window in its SOL, more than 300 previously undetected predators were discovered. A state the size of New York undoubtedly has a large number of predators still roaming free. Further evidence is the estimate by the U.S. Department of Justice that barely 10% of sexual abuse is ever reported to law enforcement authorities.
New York must take this opportunity to strengthen the protection of our children. Delaware recently became the second state to reform its SOL. Other states are considering it. Now it is New York's turn. The Assembly has overwhelmingly approved the Act in a bi-partisan vote. More specifically, it is now the Senate's turn.
We must pass this strong bill without amendment. Don’t let pedophiles use our state’s laws against children. Please take the side of our children.
Thank you for attending to this important issue. Thanks, too, for all you do to serve the people of your district and State of New York.
[Name and full street address and phone number. E-mail address is a plus, too.}