Brooklyn Assemblymember Rodnyese Bichotte on Tuesday joined Safe Horizon and other survivors of child sex abuse, including Senator Alessandra Biaggi, Assemblymembers Yu-line Niou and Linda Rosenthal, in speaking about the rights of child sex abused victims now having the opportunity to seek justice with a look back period of one year for those 23 years of age and older.
Bichotte, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, said the Child Victims Act, which signed into law on Feb. 14, extends the statute of limitations of which criminal claims – age 25 for misdemeanor and age 28 for felonies, and civil claims (age 55) – can be filed.
The Act allows more time for the victims of such abuse to emotionally process their experience before coming forward.
“At such a tender age, a child is terrified and not sure what they are supposed to do,” said Bichotte in joining join Safe Horizon, survivors of child sex abuse and others at a press conference in Times Square to announce the One-Year Look Back Window of the Child Victims Act.
“As a victim of child sex abuse at the age of 10, I remained silent, because I was afraid that no one would believe me,” she added.
Adults, who were subjected to child sexual abuse but were faced with an expired statute of limitation, now have an opportunity to seek retribution, Bichotte said.
She said the Child Victims Act, through the “One-Year Look Back Window”, allows for adult survivors to file a claim within a period of one-year, regardless of how long it has been since the time of their abuse.
Tuesday marked the eve of this look back period.
“Survivors will have between Aug. 14, 2019 and Aug. 13, 2020 to file a claim if they choose to do so,” Bichotte said. “Survivors should know that they now have a choice, whether or not they wish to pursue civil charges against their abusers.”