New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.29 on Friday, May 8, 2020, extending the “look back” window of the Child Victim’s Act. The look back period is extended to January 14, 2021. This extension gives survivors of child sex abuse more time to file lawsuits over older claims barred by statutes of limitations.
Gov. Cuomo said this extension is necessary because the reduction in court services spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented survivors the opportunity to file their claims. Survivors of childhood sex abuse have been banned from filing CVA lawsuits since the state court system instituted a prohibition on new nonessential lawsuits. These restrictions were put in place as the novel coronavirus outbreak intensified in New York.
The five-month extension is welcomed news to advocates and child victim attorneys. They have been arguing that survivors need more time to bring lawsuits, particularly because of the stress triggered by the pandemic.
The Necessity for the Extension Lookback Window
The Child Victims Act was designed to allow survivors of abuse to get the justice they deserved against their perpetrators. The lookback window was specifically addressed towards victims of sexual abuse to seek justice. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis significantly disrupted survivor’s ability to seek justice. The extension on the lookback window of the CVA will now ensure that survivors are given the appropriate amount of time to decide how they would like to proceed on their own terms.
If you or a loved one is the victim of child sexual abuse, you need to know how the Child Victims Act can help you get the justice you deserve. For more information or to better understand how this law can help you, please call our professional help center at 212-385-4410.