The Adult Survivors Act (ASA) was signed into law on May 24 by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and will go into effect on November 24, 2022. Under the ASA, sexual assault survivors, whose abuse took place when they were over 18, has a one-year window to file a civil lawsuit to hold their abusers accountable no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. Thus, the ASA gives survivors who missed the deadline another opportunity to file a lawsuit. Many of them previously chose to keep their circumstances private out of fear and shame. Gov. Hochul directly addressed abusers who she says thought they got away with their crimes, saying: “Your time is up.”
The new filing window begins in six months
The new “lookback period” to take legal action, regardless of when the abuse occurred, will last for one year, beginning this November. One survivor predicted the ASA would empower others to tell their stories and finally allow them to be heard and acknowledged for the pain they have suffered.
New York had previously expanded the statute of limitations for adult survivors of sexual abuse in 2019. Under that legislation, those affected by specific sexual offenses have 20 years to file a civil claim, but that law only applied to new cases. It had denied the same opportunities to those who have struggled for years to deal with and overcome abuse at the hands of family members, supervisors and others they trusted but were not ready to take legal action against them.
Any survivor of adult sexual abuse or assault who wishes to understand their rights under the ASA, can reach out to one of AMG’s attorneys to schedule a free, confidential consultation.