NYSCASA Statement on the Passage and Signing of the Adult Survivors Act (S66/A648)

For Immediate Release: May 25, 2022

Contact:  Chel Miller, Communications Director, cmiller@nyscasa.org; Max Micallef, Public Policy Director, mmicallef@nyscasa.org

NYSCASA Statement on the Passage and Signing of the Adult Survivors Act (S66/A648)

The entire team at the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA) is elated to hear that the Adult Survivors Act (S66/A648) was officially signed into law on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, by Governor Kathy Hochul.

Survivors of sexual violence are owed the bodily autonomy that was not honored in the experience(s) they endured. This includes ensuring that laws in our state are trauma-informed. The passage and signing of the Adult Survivors Act acknowledges that many survivors need time to process and heal before they choose to seek justice and hold their perpetrators accountable. The law provides survivors of sexual violence, who were eighteen years or older at the time and are currently time-barred from pursuing civil action, a one-year window to pursue civil action against the person who committed a sexual offense against them or the entity that enabled violence. This window gives survivors the humanity they are not granted by existing statutes of limitations and the often traumatic experience of engaging with the criminal legal system.

“Sexual assault survivors often need time before they are ready to come forward. The Adult Survivors Act offers a window of opportunity for survivors to hold their abusers accountable. This can be an important part of survivors’ healing.” —Joanne Zannoni, Executive Director

“At the signing of this measure, Survivor Advocate Marissa Hoechstetter said what perfectly encapsulates the purpose of this now law: Choice. Survivors of rape and sexual assault need the ability to make their own decisions along their paths of recovery, and if and when they report what happened to them to see their perpetrators in court. This was a survivor-led effort. We celebrate the signing of this bill, and we move forward together.” —Max Micallef, Public Policy Director

NYSCASA was honored to work alongside our partner organization Safe Horizon, who was a true champion in the effort to pass this bill, as well as other survivor-led and survivor-supporting organizations, including A Little Piece of Light, the Model Alliance, the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, and the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV). We extend our deepest gratitude to the many survivors and victims of sexual violence who shared their stories—in many cases for the first time—and advocated for the passage of this bill. NYSCASA commends Assembly Sponsor Linda Rosenthal and Senate Sponsor Brad Hoylman in advocating for this legislation since the passage of the Child Victims Act. We also thank Governor Kathy Hochul for her support and immediate signing of the bill.

Click here to download a PDF of this statement.