CHILD VICTIMS ACT LEAVES MOST SURVIVORS BEHIND

(ALBANY, NY) Recently the Fighting for Children PAC completed an analysis of claims filed so far under the newly passed Child Victims Act in New York.  In analyzing data since the law was enacted on August 14th, they found that 98.8% of cases are institutional cases, wherein the defendant is an organization, corporation, or other legal entity. In just over 1% of cases filed so far, the defendant is a private citizen.  In these non-institutional filings, the private citizen is almost always wealthy. However, most cases of abuse are perpetrated by private citizens who are often destitute or deceased. Unfortunately, because of this discrepancy, and since attorneys are not taking cases where the perpetrator is destitute or otherwise fiscally imprudent, the law is missing the mark in attempting to provide justice to survivors of childhood sexual abuse.   “While the church cases, boy scout cases, and high profile celebrity cases like Jeffrey Epstein do serve victims and help them seek peace and justice, these cases are few and far between when considering all cases of childhood sexual assault in New York State.  Hundreds if not thousands of victims are being turned away by attorneys because their cases involve perpetrators who are not fiscally worthwhile to prosecute. This is not justice for all…” said Gary Greenberg, Albany businessman, survivior of childhood sexual assault, and founder of the Fighting for Children PAC who conducted this research on claims filed. “The legislature and Governor must correct this.  My recommendation is to create a victims fund with public and private funds for those who, under the current law, are not able to go to court.  I am also shocked at the lack of women filing claims, as Attorney Jennifer Freeman of Marsh Law Firm recently stated. I also recommend the window be open for three years instead of just one year.  Furthermore, the Statute of Limitations should be completely removed for the particularly heinous crime of child sexual abuse. I learned while flipping the New York Senate in 2018 that where there is a will, there is a way,” continued Greenberg, whose ideas for a Child Victims Act ended up becoming the version of the bill which was signed into law earlier this year, and who held dozens of rallies in support of Senate candidates who supported the Child Victims Act. “I have tried diligently to find an attorney and each time I am rejected.  My abuser lives happily in South America. I am heartbroken that I am still unable to seek justice in my case.  The Governor and legislature must act,” said Connie Altamirano, a mother and activist who has been at Greenberg’s right hand for several years of lobbying in Albany for the Child Victims Act. “The Child Victims Act was a great start, but we have found some inadequacies with the law which are preventing huge numbers of survivors from seeking justice.  We can and must correct the law to serve all New Yorkers who have been the subject of childhood sexual abuse, not just high-profile or institutional cases,” said Stephen Carpineta, Communications Director for the New York Progressive Action Network, who partnered with Greenberg in late 2018 to support his efforts.

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