By Anne Cohen
Published March 08, 2013
Two Yeshiva University staffers Friday urged passage of a bill that could potentially harm their own school, which is currently under scrutiny because of allegations it failed to address child sexual abuse over several decades at its high school affiliate.
Professor Marci Hamilton and Rabbi Yosef Blau testified at a New York Assembly hearing in support of the Child Victims Act, which would make it easier for adults who were abused as children to file suits against institutions that they believe were negligent in protecting them.
Currently, any victim of child sexual abuse who fails to file such a suit by his or her 23rd birthday is barred from doing so by New York State’s statute of limitations on such crimes. The Child Victims Act would abolish those limits for cases going forward and open up a limited, one-year window during which those abused in the past could file civil law suits against their abusers, and against institutions that knew or should have known about such abuse committed by members of their staffs.
The bill, versions of which have been offered four times in previous years, is expected to pass the state assembly easily but faces a tough test in the state senate.
Both the Catholic Church and the ultra-Orthodox umbrella group, Agudath Israel of America, have publicly opposed the bill in the past. Many experts on child sexual abuse say it can take far longer than the current statute allows for victims of abuse to understand and confront what was done to them as children, and then go to court for redress, which can exacerbate already existing trauma.
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Posted by Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg at 3/11/2013
Shame on the Agudah - And Satmar Too
Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg