Senate Dems stand firm on look-back window in CVA

Legislative Gazette photo by David Tregaskis
Sen. Brady Hoylman at podium with Sen. Timothy Kennedy and Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Hoylman and other Democratic leaders are demanding that the Child Victims Act with the one-year look back (S.809) be part of this year’s budget. While critics such as Cardinal Timothy Dolan say the window is “toxic” Democratic lawmakers say it is necessary to help adult survivors confront their predators. “If it doesn’t include the look back window, it is not the CVA,” Hoylman said.

With just nine days left before the state’s budget is due, Sen. Brad Hoylman, D-Manhattan, and other Democratic lawmakers are demanding that their version of the Child Victims Act (S.809) with a one-year look back window be included in the final budget.

In recent years, many pieces of legislation similar to the CVA have been written. Currently however, only Hoylman’s bill includes the look-back window, which would give victims one year to file a civil claim against their abuser and affiliated organizations such as a school or church.

“It allows adult survivors to seek justice, to go to court, to confront their abusers and to identify predators,” Hoylman said.

Arguments against the window are that it could lead to false legal claims and bankrupt organizations, with Cardinal Timothy Dolan recently calling that part of the legislation “toxic.”

Hoylman said Thursday that in other states that enacted a similar window, there have been virtually no false claims, involuntary bankruptcies of religious institutions, and no case backlog in the courts.

“When the crime doesn’t get reported, the crime gets covered up,” Hoylman said. “What can be more toxic than a child being sexually abused and somebody covering it up?”