Victims of sexual assault and abuse, can understandingly be reluctant to share their trauma with others. The State of New York took note of this and provided a “look back” window for the Child Victim’s Act. Under the look back window, victims could sue their abusers for damages. Even if the abuse had occurred long ago and is outside the statute of limitations. However, the look back window ended at Midnight on November 22nd, 2023. Fortunately, the New York City Council has created their own look back window for the Gender-Motivated Violence Act (see NYC Administrative Code Section 10-1105).
The Gender-Motivated Violence Act (GMVA), passed in 2000 by New York City, specifically deals with crime related to gender that occurs in the five Boroughs of New York City. The GMVA now has a look back period which will expire on March 1, 2025. Under the look back period, victims of sexual abuse can file suits they would normally be barred from bringing due to statutory time limitations. To qualify under the GMVA, a victim must have been abused due to their gender.
According to the (GMVA), A crime motivated by gender is “committed because of gender or on the basis of gender, and due, at least in part, to an animus based on the victim’s gender.” The abuse does not have to be only from animus directed towards gender; one can still recover if their gender played just a role in the abuse. Thus, victims of sexual assault that were abused in one of the five Boroughs of New York City can still file claims against their alleged abusers, along with the institutions that might have protected them. There is no time too distant to qualify under the look back period; even if a victim was abused decades ago, they can still recover. The statute of limitations for a GMVA case will return to being seven years upon expiration of the look back period.
If you are a victim of sexual abuse, Zalman Schnurman & Miner can help. Please call us at 1800-lawline or email us at 1800lawline.com to set-up a free consultation.