By Emily Drooby
With the help of a new Democratic majority in the State Senate, Governor Andrew Cuomo made it his mission to pass the Child Victims Act. During his State of the State, Governor Cuomo said, “If you believe in justice for all, then you believe in passing the Child Victims Act.”
The new law makes several changes. First, it extends the age at which child sexual abuse survivors can file civil lawsuits from 23 to 55. It also would create what is being called a look-back-window, basically, anyone previously barred from suing because of the statute of limitations, could, during a one-time-only period that would last a year. On the criminal side, victims would be able to press felony charges until they’re 28 years old.
New York State Catholic Conference, which represents New York’s Bishops recently withdrew their longstanding opposition to the bill after it was broadened to include survivors of abuse no matter where it took place, including in the public-school system.
In a Tweet., the Catholic Conference adding they’ve long supported including in the legislation, quote, “…additional measures such as removal of criminal statutes of limitation completely, funding for safe environment training for public and private institutions… and compensation programs for those who prefer it to litigation.”
Monday morning, in Albany, Governor Cuomo, who is Catholic, said he believes this act is in-line with Pope Francis’ beliefs. Governor Cuomo, explained, “I feel like I am Holy in line with what Pope-Francis has said on this issue.”
During the press conference, which also featured law makers and child abuse survivors, the Governor, for the second time in a week, quoted the Pope. Governor Cuomo said, “The abuse of minors is an offense so brutal, the church cannot remain indifferent to this, and the church must punish such priests, and that includes to support the legal action.”