NYS ADULT SURVIVORS ACT: Adults Can Now Sue for Sexual Assault No Matter How Many Years Ago It Happened

How the New York State Adult Survivor Act Helps Adult Victims of Sexual Assault and Rape

On May 25, 2022, New York’s Governor Hochul signed the Adult Survivor Act into law. Under the law, anyone who experienced sexual assault or rape within the State of New York after the age of 18 has one year to file a lawsuit against their attacker and others, even if the statute of limitations has long expired.

The law provides an important one-year look-back window for all adult victims of sexual assault within the entire state of New York. Read on to learn about the details of the law and how it helps bring justice to those who experienced sexual assault or rape within the state of New York.

The New York Adult Survivor Act Helps All New York State Sexual Assault and Rape Victims

The Adult Survivor Act is a New York State law. Therefore, any New York resident or employee that experienced sexual assault or rape after their 18th birthday has rights under the Adult Survivor Act. The Act helps victims who experienced the sexual assault or rape anywhere within the State of New York, whether it occurs in New York City, Rochester New York, or anywhere in between.

The Adult Survivor Act covers the following crimes:

  • Sexual Misconduct
  • Rape
  • Criminal Sexual Acts
  • Forcible Touching
  • Persistent Sexual Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Aggravated Sexual Abuse
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Facilitating a Sex Offense with a Controlled Substance

The Adult Survivor Act Provides Adult Sexual Assault Victims One Year to File a Lawsuit Against Their Attackers and Others.

The basis of the Adult Survivor Act is to provide adults victimized by sexual assault or rape to take the time they need to be able to face their attacker in court and fight for the justice they deserve. While New York law provides a statute of limitations of twenty years for sexual assault and rape victims to file a lawsuit for rape or sexual assault, victims may need more time to process their feelings and go through the necessary steps to be comfortable and able to file a lawsuit.

Under the Adult Survivor Act, these same victims are now given one full year to file their claim against their attacker and any other person or entity whose action or inaction may have caused the sexual assault or rape, even if the event occurred decades ago. As of November 25, 2022, these victims can begin filing their lawsuits against their attackers in New York courts. They may file these claims through November 24, 2023 (the one-year look-back period).

The Adult Survivor Act Allows Rape Victims to File a Lawsuit Even If They Were Previously Denied the Right Due to the Statute of Limitations

When an individual is raped, they must first deal with the trauma before they are ready to stand up against their attacker. In the past, many victims were not permitted the right to file a lawsuit because they took more than the allotted time to seek justice.

Under the Adult Survivor Act, these very victims are given a second chance to file their claim. They have the right to finally hold their attacker accountable for their actions, even if the rape occurred many years ago. Many of these victims prepared to file a claim by going through the medical collection of evidence and processing their trauma with trained specialists. This foresight will now help them fight for justice and hold their attackers accountable for their actions.

The Adult Survivor Act Allows Sexual Assault and Rape Victims to File a Lawsuit Stemming from an Act that Would be Considered a Violation of Sexual Assault Laws.

Sometimes, third parties can commit acts that violate sexual assault laws. As a result, individuals become susceptible to sexual assault when they otherwise should be safe. As a result, sexual assault victims have a right to hold these individuals and organizations accountable for their actions.

These actions may include allowing sexual harassment to occur in the workplace, violating regulations that may lead to sexual assault, and creating an environment that turns a blind eye to even or encourages sexual assault or rape.

Under the Adult Survivor Act, victims of sexual assault and rape can now bring a lawsuit against these individuals or organizations, even if the rape or sexual assault occurred well beyond the timeline provided by the typical statute of limitations.

The law also establishes a trial preference right that allows victims to “skip the line” and have their case heard before a jury in a timely fashion.

Victims of Sexual Assault and Rape Do Not Need to Wait Until November to Speak with an Attorney to File a Lawsuit Under the Adult Survivor Act.

While lawsuits brought under the Adult Survivor Act cannot be filed in court until November 25, 2022, victims of sexual assault and rape should begin acting under the Adult Survivor Act immediately. Therefore, they can speak with a sexual assault and rape attorney in New York to help them begin to draft their complaint and obtain justice.

If you were the victim of sexual assault or rape in New York after you reached the age of 18, you have the right to hold your attacker and others accountable for their actions. The sexual assault and rape attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group in New York City can help you begin the process and file your lawsuit under the Adult Survivor Act. Call us today at (212) 587-0760 for a free consultation.