The New York City Council amended its Victims of Gender-Motivated Protection Law (VGMVPL), offering survivors the opportunity to seek justice and compensation against their abusers. The amendment contains two crucial elements:
- It provides a temporary two-year lookback window for survivors to file civil lawsuits regardless of when the violence took place. The lookback window ends on March 1, 2025.
- After this 2-year lookback window expires, the statute of limitations to file a claim increases to seven years (nine in some cases) from the date the violence occurred.
The temporary lookback window is similar to one offered under the New York Adult Survivor’s Act, allowing victims of sexual abuse to file claims regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred. While that window under the Adult Survivor’s Act closes on Nov. 24, claims that would have been barred by the statute of limitations may still be filed under the VGMVPL for an additional 16 months.
Who is eligible to file a claim?
Anyone who lives in New York City’s five boroughs is potentially eligible to file a civil lawsuit if they were harmed by a violent act that is at least partially related to gender. Claimants may recover monetary losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. The court may also award different types of relief, such as punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and court costs.
The VGMVPL is a landmark law for protecting survivors of gender-related violence, allowing them to hold their abusers accountable separately from the criminal justice system. Because claims under the VGMVPL are civil matters and are separate from criminal proceedings, survivors might be eligible to file a lawsuit even if their abuser was never charged or convicted or was found not guilty.
Recovering from gender-motivated violence
Studies show victims of gender-motivated violence suffer severe emotional, psychological, physical, and financial abuse. A congressional panel found this type of violence is the leading cause of injury to women ages 15 to 44. The lookback window mirrors a national trend, ensuring that survivors of sexual abuse have a voice to recover damages and confront their abusers. If you have any questions regarding your own prospective claims, you can reach out to Allred, Maroko & Goldberg for a free and confidential consultation.