Child Victims Act

Statement of Support
Child Victims Act

It is vital that the New York State Senate pass the Child Victims Act (CVA) in the next legislative session. With each session that Albany fails to pass the CVA, thousands more survivors’ voices are silenced. It is time to put a stop to the statutes of limitations that rob survivors of justice and shield child abusers from their responsibility. I stand with Gary Greenberg and the Fighting for Children PAC in my strong commitment to protect our children and hold child molesters accountable. I will work vigorously to pass the Child Victims Act as State Senator.

The Child Victims Act would eliminate the criminal and civil statutes of limitations on child sex abuse. These statutes, which currently prevent survivors from seeking justice after their 23rd birthday, are among the most draconian in the country. Just as importantly, the CVA brings hope to those who have been deprived of their right to seek justice by establishing a 12-month window during which survivors whose birthdays have passed can get their day in civil court.

Through my nearly 20 years of work to end child trafficking and child slavery, I have seen the devastating impacts of child sexual abuse. It is estimated that between 70% and 90% of children trafficked into the commercial sex industry have experienced some form of sexual abuse before they were trafficked1. These children are more likely to have academic problems, substance abuse problems, exhibit greater risk taking behaviors, and suffer from emotional and mental health problems. In my experience, many survivors of trafficking and sexual abuse continue struggle with the effects of their abuse until well into their adulthood, if not, their entire lives. Requiring survivors to testify in court by the age of 23 when the statute of limitations expires is completely unreasonable.

Child sexual abuse is something that affects all of us. It is a public health problem of enormous proportion and consequences. It affects girls, boys, and transgender children and youth of all races and ethnicities. Studies show that about 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday2. We cannot remain silent and must hold the perpetrators accountable. I am grateful for the courage and tenacity of survivors like Gary Greenberg, for standing up and speaking out against child sexual abuse. It is high time that we stand up together, with and for the survivors of child sexual abuse and protect their right to seek justice.

–Alison Boak, MPH
Candidate for New York State Senate (40SD)

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1 Goodman, Miriam and Julie Laurence. N.d. Child Trafficking Victims and the State Courts, Chapter 4. Human Trafficking and the State Courts Collaborative.
2 Catherine Townsend and Alyssa Rheingold. Estimating a Child Sexual Abuse Prevalence Rate for Practitioners: A Review of Child Sexual Abuse Prevalence Studies. August 2014.

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