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BREAKING NEWS: New York State Allows Survivors of Sexual Abuse to File Suit Now, No Matter When Abuse Occurred

Photo of a crying child, representing a victim of sexual abuse

On January 28, 2019, the New York State legislature passed the Child Victims Act, allowing child sex abuse survivors to sue abusers and the institutions that protected the abusers until the survivor reaches 55 years of age.  The new law also opened a “look back” window of one year for anyone who was sexually violated or abused to bring a lawsuit no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

“This means if you were sexually abused as a minor, you are free to file a civil lawsuit against an individual or institution right now,” said John Dalli, a partner in the law firm Dalli & Marino LLP. “Survivors can’t turn back the clock on what happened.  But they can now force abusers to answer for what they did and help bring closure for themselves.”

Sexual Abuse More Prevalent Than You Think

It’s a difficult topic, but survivors should know they aren’t alone.  Darkness To Light, a non-profit organization focused on preventing child sexual abuse, estimates that 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused by age 18.

The state has prepared for an influx of lawsuits to be filed, designating 45 judges across the state solely to help expedite these cases.  For example, 600 lawsuits in New York State were filed on August 14, the first day of this year-long window — 175 in New York City alone.

Those initial large numbers indicate how prevalent this type of abuse has been. Sadly, Darkness To Light reports that an estimated 60% of child sexual abuse victims never tell anyone.

“Anywhere there’s a disparity in power, abusers leverage their own higher position to take advantage of someone,” said Dalli.  “This legislation now makes it easier to hold people accountable for victimizing you no matter how long ago it took place.”

How To Bring Justice To Sexual Abusers

If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, call the law firm of Dalli & Marino for a free, confidential case evaluation.  Our attorneys have extensive experience fighting on behalf of those who have been subject to abuse.  You can contact us by phone at

1-888-465-8790 [Toll-Free] or complete the CASE EVALUATION FORM on our Contact Page.

Contact Dalli & Marino

Our mission since 1995 has been to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.  We’ve seen how institutions such as schools, hospitals and nursing facilities have used their power to avoid their responsibilities.  We know how to hold these institutions accountable for ignoring these crimes and prioritizing their reputations above children’s safety.  Our team serves Suffolk and Nassau Counties (Long Island), Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Westchester County.