Victims of clergy sexual abuse now have more time to take legal action in Long Island. Recent changes to the statute of limitations, combined with a “look back” period, have given adult victims of child sexual abuse an extended window of time to seek monetary compensation from their abusers and the Catholic Church.
If you are ready to come forward, you can fight back against those who hurt you. A Long Island clergy abuse lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you get started on your case before the newly established time limits expire. You could win awards to compensate for the years of emotional pain you have suffered because of abuse. To learn more, contact our team at (800) 219-9622 for a free case review.
New York’s Child Victims Act
Like many states, New York recently passed legislation allowing victims more time to take legal action against child sexual abuse perpetrators. According to the New York State Unified Court System, under the Child Victims Act of 2019, sexual abuse victims who were under the age of 18 can now file a civil lawsuit against their abuser or a third party, such as a church or school, until they reach age 55.
The law also provides a one-year “look back” window for anyone who suffered sexual abuse as a child to file suit. Victims can now take legal action regardless of:
- Their current age.
- How long ago the abuse occurred.
- Whether New York’s previous statute of limitations would have barred their claim.
- Whether a victim previously filed suit and had it dismissed under the previous statute of limitations.
- Whether the victim ever filed a notice of claim.
- Whether the lawsuit is against an abuser or a third party that should have prevented the abuse.
Initially, the one-year period was from Aug. 14, 2019, to Aug. 13, 2020. However, the Legislature extended the deadline for filing claims through August 2021 by passing New York Senate Bill S7082.
The Child Victims Act also expands the amount of time to bring felony criminal charges. Victims now have until their 28th birthday to contact the police or district attorney about beginning a criminal case. In most cases, if the victim was younger than 11 years old when the abuse occurred, there is no time limit for bringing criminal charges.
If a clergy member victimized you, now is your chance to take legal action and make your voice heard. No matter how long ago your abuse took place, the statute of limitations is now on your side when it comes to seeking justice in civil court. You can contact a Long Island clergy abuse lawyer before the August 2021 filing deadline passes. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to learn more.
Child Sexual Abuse Victims Often Keep Silent for Years
Victims of child sexual abuse often suffer in silence well into adulthood. Some victims never speak out about their abuse at all. According to Psychology Today, victims may keep quiet because:
- They may not recognize what happened to them as sexual abuse until years later due to confusion or misinformation.
- They might have unclear memories due to young age or because their abuser used alcohol or drugs to make them more compliant.
- They often dissociate from their abuse or deny it happened to protect themselves psychologically, which can result in repressed memories.
- They may feel afraid of their abuser or blame themselves for the abuse.
Carrying the secret of abuse can place a significant burden on victims, and the effects of child sexual abuse can cause a lifetime of damages. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), victims often experience years of shame, fear, and humiliation, leading to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Physically, victims often experience chronic pain, substance abuse problems, and severe obesity.
For a free legal consultation with a Long Island Clergy Abuse Lawyer Lawyer serving Long Island, call (800) 794-0444
Seeking Compensation for Your Injuries
Issues stemming from child sexual abuse can interfere with victims’ adult lives. Physical and mental health problems can make it difficult to keep a job and form meaningful relationships. The costs of health care and mental health services can create an additional burden. If a clergy member abused you, they and the church might owe you awards to compensate for these costs and for the pain and suffering you have endured in the years following your abuse.
It is impossible to put a price on the lifelong emotional scars that child sexual abuse can create, but a Long Island clergy abuse attorney will attempt to help you secure a settlement to help with medical treatments and other damages. Perhaps more importantly, a settlement in your favor is an acknowledgment of the wrongs committed against you. It is a way to hold your abusers and the church that sheltered them accountable. By adding your voice to a growing chorus of victims, you could help prevent abuse from happening to others in the future.
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Making Your Voice Heard
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we understand the difficulty of opening up about the abuse you have suffered. We want to help you feel comfortable and confident working with a Long Island clergy abuse lawyer. Time and the law may be on the side of victims now more than ever, and we stand ready to help you confront the clergy member and the church.
Child sexual abuse victims endure years of physical and emotional trauma because of their abusers’ crimes. You deserve compensation for the negative impact these terrible actions have had and continue to have on your life. Our firm can help you seek justice at no out-of-pocket cost to you. We will fight for you in and out of court, and if we do not win your case, we do not collect a fee. Do not wait any longer. Call our team today at (800) 219-9622 for a free consultation.