According to FBI studies, a startling 1 in 5 children is sexually abused before age 18. Sadly, many predators are lifelong abusers, with as many as 100 victims. Yet, only 10% of this abuse is ever reported to authorities. That means there are thousands of unknown sex abusers of children living and working silently and harmfully among us all across New York state -- in schools, churches, synagogues, youth groups, and especially in families.
Current legislation doesn't acknowledge the pain and stigma that often silences victims for years. In New York, many perpetrators can't be prosecuted for their crimes once the fairly narrow statute of limitations expires. Victims are also unable to pursue civil damages for past crimes.
At Safe Horizon, we see the crippling impact that sexual abuse has on its victims, young and old, and we hear the anguished stories of adult clients who struggle for years to grasp what happened to them and are then restricted by outdated laws from seeking justice.
The statute of limitations ought to be eliminated to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice and to prevent additional crimes from taking place. Surviving victims should also have the opportunity to pursue civil damages.
Please join us in standing with survivors. Tell the New York state legislature to support the Child Victims Act.
Dear [Decision Maker],
I am writing to urge you to support the Child Victims Act.
Sexual abuse has a crippling impact on its victims, young and old. Many adult survivors of childhood abuse struggle for years to grasp what happened to them and are then restricted by outdated laws from seeking justice.
Safe Horizon offers evidence-based interventions that are shown to reduce the symptoms of trauma. But what it cannot offer to the thousands of adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse it sees each year over the age of 25 is the hope of relief through the courts.
The statute of limitations ought to be eliminated to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice and to prevent additional crimes from taking place. Surviving victims should have the opportunity to pursue civil damages.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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