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For years, child survivors of sexual abuse have been blocked from suing their perpetrators for damages by laws requiring these lawsuits be filed within a short period of time.
Araoz alleged that Epstein began sexually abusing her in 2001 when she was 14 years old, and that he raped her when she was 15.
In addition to easing harsh restrictions regarding civil cases, the Child Victims Act also extends the time period for criminal child sex abuse cases.
The new law expands the time the state may prosecute until the victims is 28.
One such New York survivor, Kat Sullivan, made headlines last year with three billboards criticizing the New York legislators for failing to pass the Child Victims Act.
In the 1990s, Sullivan was sexually abused and raped by a teacher when she was a student at the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York.
Child sexual abuse is a particularly traumatic experience, and it can take years to find the courage and strength to confront an abuser.
This is why survivors and their advocates have been pushing for extended statute of limitations for years—in spite of stiff resistance from defense attorneys, perpetrators and the institutions that support them, like the Catholic Church.
It’s likely that thousands of suits will be filed in the coming months and years.