Recent Opinions by Kathryn Robb
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2019
CHILD USAdvocacy and New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators Thank Governor Andrew Cuomo, Sen. Brad Hoylman, and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal for their leadership in making 2019 the year of the Child Victims Act
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that the Child Victims Act will be a part of his Annual Budget and reaffirmed his promise to enact the CVA within the first 100 days of 2019. University of Pennsylvania Professor,Marci A. Hamilton, interim CEO of CHILD USAdvocacy, and co-founder of New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators, has been working tirelessly for access to justice for New York’s child sex abuse victims for over 15 years, working with lawmakers, advocates, and survivors to open a window to justice for survivors in New York. She states:
“Thank you Governor Cuomo for your leadership and devotion to the child sex abuse survivors of the state of New York! The Child Victims Act could not happen without your determination and vision. Your efforts, combined with the determination and vision of Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, mean that New York will be choosing justice over suffering, and joining the nine other states to revive expired civil statutes of limitations for the child sex abuse victims who have been denied justice by shockingly short SOLs. I would also like to thank former Assemblywoman Marge Markey who started this movement in the New York legislature. It has been a long and difficult 15 years as victims have had to come forward to make this happen, whether ready or not. Some did not survive the rigors of the political battle and many have suffered. For those who have survived, this new law will shift the cost of the abuse from their shoulders to the ones who caused it, identify the predators hidden in our midst, and further reveal to the public the ways in which child abusers and enabling institutions endanger New York’s children.”
For more information on the child sex abuse SOLs across the United States, see www.childusa.org/law.
Kathryn Robb, a familysurvivor and co-founder of New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators and Board member of CHILD USAdvocacy, has been devoted to these issues for well over a decade and is thrilled that the CVA is now inevitable in her home state of New York. She says,
“For too long victims of child sexual abuse fought the powerful in Albany, a place that allowed truth to be buried, healing denied, and justice forsaken in the darkness of greed, power and cover-up. For too long so many did so little. Until now. Governor Cuomo has kept his promise of justice; the Governor, along with the fearless leadership of Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie, have cleared the path for truth, a path that will allow so many to finally reach the doors to justice. Thank you for justice, thank you for making our children safer.”
Stephen Jimenez,award-winning journalist, co-founder of New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators, board member of CHILD USAdvocacy, and a survivor of several years of child sex abuse at a Catholic elementary school, has also been a longtime leader in the fight for access to justice for survivors in New York and nationally. He says,
“The struggle for justice and transparency on behalf of child sex abuse victims in New York State has been long and arduous. For more than a dozen years, powerful institutions have repeatedly placed impossible obstacles in the path of those who have sought to protect children instead of sexual predators. But thanks to the brave leadership of public servants who are truly committed to New York’s children and families — Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senator Brad Hoylman, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, and their dedicated staffs — the tide of justice is finally turning. Once again, New York’s leaders are showing by their example what it means to stand for child protection and justice for all. Thank you, Governor Cuomo for your unflinching leadership!”
About CHILD USAdvocacy
CHILD USAdvocacy is a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization affiliated with CHILD USA.Drawing on the combined expertise of the nation’s leading child advocates, CHILD USAdvocacy is committed to protecting children’s civil liberties and keeping children safe from abuse.For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.childusadvocacy.org.
About New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators
New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators (“NYAHP”) is committed to passing the Child Victims Act in New York and holding legislators accountable for failure to act. It is a founding member of United to Pass the Child Victims Act (“UPCVA”) – an umbrella coalition of survivors and advocates fighting to see the bill become law. NYAHP is seeking to reform New York State’s antiquated child sexual abuse laws and bring to justice the hidden sexual predators that live in our communities today.www.stophiddenpredators.org
#WindowToJustice #SOLreform #PassTheCVA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2018
Advocates and Survivors React to the New York Senate Shift to Democrat Control and the Brighter Chances for the Child Victims Act
The fight for child victims of sexual abuse in New York has been raging for nearly fifteen years and only incremental progress has been made until now. Justice for victims of child sex abuse should be bipartisan; unfortunately this has not been the case historically. Finally, with the Democrats winning control of the NY senate, the path lies open for the Child Victim’s Act (“CVA”).
New York currently ranks as one of the WORST states in the country when it comes to justice for victims. The current landscape does not allow victims of child sexual abuse to sue predators after they turn twenty-three. This is unacceptable when the average age of disclosure for these victims is 52. CHILD USAdvocacy and New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators are not seeking radical change—simply that the state catch up to the rest of the country. The passage of the CVA will do just that.
Child sex abuse and its cover up is a universal problem affecting all New Yorkers in some way. Relentless lobbying by Catholic Bishops and the insurance agencies has forced victims to wait for justice for over a decade.
“I am thrilled that the New York Senate will be led by a bold and fearless leader. Senator Stewart-Cousins is a true leader with enormous integrity and an eye on justice,” said survivor and child advocate, Kathryn Robb. “Finally, victims of child sexual abuse in New York will have justice and an opportunity to heal, and the children of New York will no longer be in harm’s way by institutions that continue to cover-up their outrageous wrongs.”
Award-winning journalist and survivor, Steve Jimenez commented, “Finally we have a fierce, compassionate leader of the New York State Senate who will fight for justice on behalf of child sex abuse victims and stop shielding the institutions that have given safe harbor to predators. For the first time in well over a decade, New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators — representing advocates, survivors, and their families — can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our day of justice has been a long time coming — and for many of us, it’s a day that can’t come soon enough. Good riddance to Senate control by John Flanagan, who as Senate Majority Leader, along with his Republican cronies, put predators before children.”
“It has been a very long road to get to this point,” commented University of Pennsylvania Professor and Founder of CHILD USA and CHILD USAdvocacy, Marci Hamilton. “Justice for the victims of child sex abuse should be a nonpartisan issue. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been in New York, where the lobbyists for the insurance industry and the Catholic bishops have held sway over Republican Senators. Finally, with Democratic control in the state legislature, survivors should be able to achieve the justice they deserve through the Child Victims Act and the revival of expired civil statutes of limitations. It is time for New York to protect children rather than predators and the institutions that enable them. The failure to pass the CVA to date has aided and abetted the bishops’ cover up of child sex abuse in the state. New York victims of childhood sexual abuse have suffered enough and deserve the justice that only the CVA can provide.”
“Childhood victims of sexual abuse in New York State, who have fought long and hard for justice, may finally have the courthouse doors open to them to hold their abusers accountable,” remarked Robert Hoatson, Co-Founder & President of Road to Recovery, Inc.
Upon learning the news, advocate and survivor, Connie Altamirano said that when she learned the control of the Senate would switch to those in support of the victims, “I had an emotional breakdown and cried and thanked everyone for all the work. The time is now and I already have appointments for January. It has been a collaborative effort – I pray that PA and NY can be done in conjunction. There’s no time like the present. I think everyone should contact the Senators; we need to move and make sure these Democrats deliver.”
According to Art McGrath, President, Call to Action Metro NY, “Access to justice is at hand in NYS for the survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Civic society has made that possible despite the vigorous opposition of the New York State Catholic Bishops.”
“The passage of the CVA should be the first order of business in the Senate. The children of New York State have waited long enough for protection from sexual predators and survivors have waited long enough for justice,” said survivor Beth McCabe.
“Schools and other institutions in New York State have made child sexual abuse far worse in NY because current law rewards them for covering it up and obstructing timely reporting,” observed Peter Brooks of the Horace Mann Action Coalition Interschool Network Against Abuse. “The Senate can now provide survivors with a window for access to justice by enacting the Child Victims Act, the practical solution to limit hidden abuse and provide accountability.”
About CHILD USAdvocacy
CHILD USAdvocacy is a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization affiliated with CHILD USA. Drawing on the combined expertise of the nation’s leading child advocates, CHILD USAdvocacy is committed to protecting children’s civil liberties and keeping children safe from abuse. For more information, email email@example.com.
About New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators
New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators (“NYAHP”) is committed to passing the Child Victims Act in New York and holding legislators accountable for failure to act. It is a founding member of United to Pass the Child Victims Act (“UPCVA”) – an umbrella coalition of survivors and advocates fighting to see the bill become law. NYAHP is seeking to reform New York State’s antiquated child sexual abuse laws and bring to justice the hidden sexual predators that live in our communities today. www.stophiddenpredators.org