Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Celebrates Passes of Adult Survivors Act by a Vote of 148-3

Albany, New York – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF- New York) today celebrated the New York State Assembly's passage of the Adult Survivor's Act (ASA). Like the Child Victims Act (CVA), the ASA will provide adults who were sexually assaulted with a one-year lookback window within which to bring previously time-barred civil cases. Working with a broad coalition of survivors and advocates, many of whom worked to pass the CVA, Assemblymember Rosenthal introduced the bill in 2019, and has worked to build support among her colleagues in the Assembly. 

"Regardless of your age, sexual assault destroys a piece of you, and it takes most survivors time to process and overcome the unique trauma. More time than New York law currently allows. Today is a watershed moment for survivors of sexual assault. Today, New York says that standing with survivors is more important than shielding individuals and institutions from liability. When the ASA finally becomes law, the doors to justice will be flung wide open and countless survivors will have an opportunity to seize justice by filing a case against their abusers, and the institutions that harbored them, in the civil court. 

The simple act of publicly identifying one's abuser is empowering and has the potential to bring a measure of healing. The ASA will also ensure that predators who have hidden behind New York's weak laws and short statutes of limitations will finally face justice. And, the passage of the ASA signals a long overdue shift in New York's law, a necessary rebalancing of the scales of justice and ensures that survivors are protected. 

I was humbled to work with a fearless group of survivors who have been relentless in their pursuit of justice. These brave survivors have been the heart and soul of our movement, and it is for them that I fought. All of New York owes them a tremendous debt of gratitude."

In acknowledgement that the existing statutes of limitation for rape and sexual assault were far too short, New York eliminated the statute of limitations for rape 1 in 2006 and extended it in 2019 for rape 2 and 3. In addition to survivors who did not file because they felt shame or were threatened or intimidated by their abusers, the ASA will close the loophole that prevented survivors who did not get the benefit of the extended statutes of limitations from bringing a case.

The ASA passed the Assembly by a margin of 148-3 It had previously passed the New York State Senate, where it was carried by Brad Hoylman, Chair of the Judiciary Committee, unanimously. Governor Hochul has already committed publicly to signing the ASA into law when it is delivered to her.