With the current rise in a push for accountability on people who have conducted rape. or sexual assault, it is interesting that some states have laws that can make it easy for the perpetrator to walk. In the state of New York, a current law involving adolescent sexual abuse or rape, allows only five years for the victim to bring the crimes to the court. On top of this, the plaintiff must be 18 years of age. This means that there is only a window of 18-23 in which the victim can report the crime. This law does not promote accountability, and that is why The Child Victims Act, crafted by Manhattan Democrat Brad Hoylman, is being pushed. This bill would allow a one year window for time barred civil action lawsuits for up to fifty years. This would help victims get their voices heard. Figures such as Corey Feldman and Sarah Powers-Barnhard are now pushing for republicans to pass this bill, and a coalition called “The New Yorkers against hidden predators” is gaining steam as well. A Quinnipiac poll shows that over 90% of NY voters support this bill, so there is hope, and likelihood that it can pass in it current form.
Jeff Herman, the founder and managing partner of Herman Law, feels that advocacy towards abuse and sexual violence is the key to its solution. He is a nationally recognized attorney who is a known advocate for rape survivors. Jeff has worked with over one thousand victims, and has worked tirelessly and aggressively in the courtroom. In 2011, he gained the spotlight when he won a one hundred million dollar landmark case against a Catholic priest that had sexually abused his son. This brought Herman interviews on CNN and FOX, in which his deep understanding of rape cases was exposed. People who have worked with Herman feel that his training in forensic interviewing has helped remove trauma and anxiety from the situation. He is a key figure in helping bring a voice, and policy options to a group that may not have much support.