New New York Sex Abuse Bill Not Helpful to Victims

Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn) says his alternative bill to help victims of sexual abuse levels the playing field by allowing sexual abuse victims to seek justice from both public and private institutions that allowed the abuse to occur. In fact, so does the much better legislation proposed by Rep. Margaret Markey (D-Maspeth). The crucial difference between the two bills is that Markey’s bill would provide a one year window during which sexual abuse victims could pursue justice irrespective of when they were abused. This is important because most of those who’ve been abused aren’t able to come forward about their abuse until many years later, if at all. The Markey legislation takes into account the particular circumstances of the constituency her bill is aimed to serve. It is an undisputed fact that victims of sexual abuse crimes are not able to go public at the time the abuse occurred due to the traumatic nature of the abuse as well as the position of authority the abuser holds. Lopez’ bill doesn’t take this important factor into account. By the way, the Catholic dioceses of New York are vigorously supporting the Lopez version. That should tell you all you need to know.