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Adult Survivors Act

New York City Lawyers for Adult Survivors Act Lawsuits

The governor of New York has signed an important new law that is intended to assist those who have been the victim of sex crimes, including those who have faced these offenses in the workplace. The Adult Survivors Act allows survivors of sexual abuse that happened when the victim was an adult over the age 18 to file a lawsuit, regardless of when they were abused. The law has a one-year lookback window that starts six months from the date the law was signed. The law expands available relief because it applies even to those crimes that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations. You should not be exposed to sex offenses in your place of work. Many people who experience this type of harassment feel embarrassed and degraded, uncertain about coming forward. If you are an adult survivor of sexual abuse and believe you may have a claim under the Adult Survivors Act, you should call the seasoned New York City sexual harassment lawyers of Phillips & Associates.

Statute of Limitations Altered by Adult Survivors Act

For many survivors, it takes years to come to terms with the trauma and emotional repercussions of a sex crime. They may feel ready to file a lawsuit against the person who abused them only after having a chance to process what happened to them. Through the #MeToo movement, researchers have become increasingly aware of the long-term repercussions of sexual abuse and the length of time it can take for a victim to feel comfortable with coming forward and filing a complaint with the stress and embarrassment that may be entailed by that. The state has responded by expanding relief and shifting the statute of limitations for these offenses.

Generally, statutes of limitations are tailored to ensure that there are witnesses with sound memories of an event and perpetrators can also move forward with their lives. With those considerations, those affected by wrongdoing have only the very limited window of the statute of limitations period within which to pursue relief in a lawsuit filed in court. However, those who support survivors have found these windows punitively narrow to those victimized by sex offenses. When a statute of limitations period is unduly, short survivors must live with what happened to them alone and without recourse, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

As some politicians noted, predators have been able to flourish with impunity under the existing statute of limitations, knowing that what they did was far enough back that there would be no consequences.

State Laws That Support Victims of Abuse

New York has passed a few laws that support victims of abuse who hope to come forward irrespective of the statute of limitations. For instance, it passed the Child Victims Act in 2019, which opened a one-year lookback window for childhood sexual abuse survivors. The law allowed survivors to file claims that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations. The Adult Survivors Act is also intended to provide redress for those who survive sex crimes, but it specifically focuses on survivors of sex crimes committed when the victims were over age 18.

Lawyers for Claims During the Lookback Window

The one-year lookback window will start 6 months from the date it was signed in 2022. It will allows you to sue as a survivor, even if your claim would ordinarily be prevented by the statute of limitations. It also builds on the governor’s other actions to support those who survive sexual assault and domestic violence.

What Sex Abuse Is Covered by the Adult Survivors Act?

The Adult Survivors Act applies to roughly 20 crimes that are laid out in the New York Penal Law’s sections on sex crimes. The crimes include:

  • Rape,
  • Sexual abuse,
  • Persistent sexual abuse,
  • Aggravated sexual abuse,
  • Female genital mutilation,
  • Facilitation of a sex offense with a controlled substance, and
  • Forcible touching.

If you were the victim of any of these crimes in the workplace, the law allows you to sue not only your abuser, but also the company that employs that person.

Our New York City sexual harassment lawyers may be able to sue them under a theory of vicarious liability (indirectly liability) or negligence (direct liability) theory. We can also examine your case to determine whether it fits under federal, state, and local antidiscrimination laws such as Title VII and the New York State Human Rights Act. Some companies may be quick to destroy records or otherwise conceal evidence, making it all the more important to talk to a knowledgeable attorney.

Consult a Seasoned Sexual Abuse Lawyer

At Phillips and Associates, our trustworthy New York City sexual harassment attorneys represent workers whose rights to be free from sexual assault in the workplace have been violated. We represent workers in companies located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Nassau County, among other places. Please complete our online form or contact us at (212) 248-7431 if you believe you may have a claim.

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