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Sexual assault is an extremely complex issue, encompassing a broad range of circumstances and interpersonal dynamics. The trauma experienced around sexual assault can be profound, nuanced, and very private. Due to the traumatizing nature of sexual assault, many victims often need ample time before they can even process the experience, let alone seek legal action. 

It is important to acknowledge that each person’s experience is unique. Some people may spend many years grappling with their trauma before being able to speak about it, while others may remain silent for the rest of their lives. Because each person processes trauma in their own way, allowing people who have experienced sexual assault the space they need to come to grips with the violation they have suffered is a vital step in the healing process. 

However, not seeking legal redress for sexual assault expeditiously may jeopardize your civil rights. Unfortunately, oftentimes when victims of sexual assault are finally ready to speak out about their trauma, the window for pursuing legal action has passed. Due to statutes of limitations, which vary by state, many victims of sexual assault often never have the chance to seek justice.

For example, the New York State statute of limitations for a civil action based on sexual assault was previously only one year. Thankfully, as of 2019, it is now 20 years. In certain instances, New York City victims of sexual assault have seven years to file a lawsuit under the Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law (VGMVPL). As of March 1, 2023, the VGMVPL, similar to the Adult Survivors Act (ASA), will provide a two-year safe-zone (until March 1, 2025) to file an otherwise untimely lawsuit.

The Adult Survivors Act (ASA) was newly enacted on November 25, 2022. Victims in New York State who have gone far too long without justice now have the chance to tell their stories. Under the ASA, those who have undergone sexual assault now have a one-year lookbacki.e., until November 25, 2023to sue their perpetrators, even if the statute of limitations on their claim had previously expired. The ASA also allows people who were sexually assaulted at work, or while in the care of an institution such as a hospital or jail, to sue that entity.

Another statute applying to minors, the Child Victims Act (CVA), extended the one-to-five-year statute of limitations for minors who suffer sexual assault to when such minor victims reach the age of 55. Similarly, the CVA provided a yearlong grace period for minor sexual assault victims whose statutes of limitation had expired.  The CVA’s grace periods ended on August 21, 2022.  If you have questions about the Adult Survivors Act, the Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law, or the Child Victims Act, please do not hesitate to give us a call.

Since taking effect, the Adult Survivors Act has garnered significant attention, with lawsuits being filed against big names such as Donald Trump, Bill Cosby, and Leon Black. Additionally, lawsuits are expected to be brought forth on behalf of over 750 women who claim they were assaulted in New York State prisons. 

All of these reform statutes regarding sexual assault should hopefully continue to inspire those who have suffered in silence for far too long to finally speak out. There are many people out there for whom justice is long overdue.

Call Us

We at Filippatos PLLC stand in firm solidarity and support of those who have experienced sexual assault. We understand how difficult it can be to process the trauma around this extremely personal issue. If you have questions about the Adult Survivors Act, the Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law, or the Child Victims Act, or would like to speak to a sexual assault attorney for any other reason, please to do not hesitate to give us a call at (914) 984-1111. We are here to help you through this difficult and painful experience, and answer all of your questions with care. We are dedicated to doing our best to secure you the justice you deserve. Remember, you do not have to go through this alone.

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Preserving Justice in the Workplace Since 1992

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Phone/Fax: 914-984-1111

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Email: info@filippatoslaw.com

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Preserving Justice in the Workplace Since 1992