Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Statement on Attorney General Barbara Underwood Clergy Abuse Hotline

September 6, 2018

New York, NY – As the New York State Assembly sponsor of the Child Victims Act, I applaud Attorney General Barbara Underwood for today setting up a clergy abuse hotline in New York State, and for taking critical intermediary steps to address sexual abuse within our state’s Catholic dioceses. The horrific revelations of the Pennsylvania grand jury investigation into the scope of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church only confirm what so many have been saying for years. It should come as a surprise to no one that the powerful and pious have little desire to police their own ranks. In lieu of such morality, it is imperative that the state ensure every New Yorker feels like there is a channel for their voice to be heard, which this hotline moves us toward.

I urge the Attorney General to broaden the reach of this hotline to include all 501(c)(3) schools and institutions, which have seen childhood sexual abuse among their ranks. Above all else though, the horrors of recent months’ news have made clearer than ever just how desperately New York State needs the Child Victims Act to be enacted into law. New York State Senate Republicans long ago sold off their human decency to the highest bidder, but change is coming, and we will pass the Child Victims Act into law. I look forward to continuing to work with the Attorney General to ensure that victims are heard, and that justice for survivors is ultimately delivered in the courts.