After failing to come to the floor of the state Assembly for a vote the last few years, the Adult Survivors Act is now expected to pass some time in the next couple of weeks. 

The legislation has already cleared the state Senate. 

What You Need To Know

  • Advocates have been trying to get the Adult Survivors Act passed in Albany for years, and now the Assembly has agreed to pass it

  • The Adult Survivors Act is modeled on the Child Victim’s Act, which allows a one-year look back period to file suit against abusers

  • Gov. Hochul says she will sign the bill after it passes the Assembly. The state Senate has already passed it

“It’s hard to capture the emotion because we fought for this for so long with the advocates and the survivor community,” says Assembly bill sponsor Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan. “Whether it’s survivors of Dr. Hadden, survivors or Jeffery Epstein, survivors of Harvey Weinstein. Survivors that we don’t even know about.”

Two years ago, New York state passed the Child Victims Act, allowing victims of childhood abuse to sue long after the statute of limitations had expired. The legislation opened a one-year look back period for victims to file those lawsuits.

The Adult Survivors Act works much the same way. A one-year window would open up for survivors to file suit. 

“This is a great day. It’s just an important time, I think for New York to be a leader in survivor’s rights,” says survivor and advocate Marissa Hoechstetter. “And as we talk a lot about how women’s rights are under attack, this is the right time for the state to acknowledge what many of us have been saying about what happened to us and out right I seek justice.”

Supporters say the bill is necessary because many survivors take years to come to terms with what happened after experiencing trauma like a sexual assault or rape. 

Survivors may not be ready to seek justice in the courts before the statute of limitations expires, making the Adult Survivors Act a new opportunity to seek compensation for that pain and suffering. 

“What all of us have come to learn is that processing trauma takes time. We learned through the Child Victim’s Act, about children who were abused now as adults are just coming to terms with what happened to them. The same is true for adults,” Rosenthal says.

Gov. Kathy Hochul told NY1 through a spokesperson that she will sign the legislation, once it passes the Assembly. 

The look back window would open up three months after the bill is signed.