Child Victims Act to begin next week

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Starting next week, a one-year window opens for sexual abuse victims to file a civil case even if the statute of limitations has passed.

This session, lawmakers approved legislation victims of child sexual abuse have been fighting for.

“It’s a 20-year battle for me,” Gary Greenberg, Fighting for Children PAC founder, said. “And really, it’s been over 50 years since I was sexually abused, and the memory is as sharp as it was back then.”

Greenberg says by the time he found out who his abuser was at the now closed down Cohoes Memorial Hospital, he “couldn’t bring any charges civily or criminally against him due to statute of limitations.”

On August 14, he plans to file a lawsuit. He says it’s not about the money.

“I anticipate I will [bring it] against the entity that brought Cohoes Memorial Hospital out of bankruptcy,” he said. “I didn’t think I was going to file, but I feel it’s important that I do. I want other victims to see no matter where you were abused or what the circumstances were, that you have a right to file.”

Advocacy groups say it’s important for victims to know about the window.

“It’s better than no window at all. And, from our perspective, it would be best if there were no limitations, but we understand the political realities that resulted in this window.”

Greenberg says the Child Victims Act is “a terrific first step;” howevewr, there’s more to be done.

“If you were abused in a rural area or an inner city where the majority of the abuse takes place, child sex abuse, if you have a relative who is either dead or has nothing, these type victims are having a very hard time finding lawyers,” he said.

And he’s hoping to have a fund established for certain victims for things like medicine and therapy in the near future.

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