This morning’s (5/19/16) New York Daily News ran a headline, “Gov. Cuomo will push law allowing child-abuse victims to seek justice as adults.” The URL tells a different story about his position when they first created the article: “http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/gov-cuomo-pushes-liquor-law-reform-ignores-child-sex-abuse-vics-article-1.2641982.” Its seems the spirits have moved the governor to a new public stance.
The good news is that New York State’s governor is feeling the heat from anti-abuse activists. The bad news is that he is still committed to protecting the interests of the Catholic church and Agudath Israel of America. Both of them know, that for all their denials, there was a massive coverup of abuse. Opening a window for suing about past abuse will both cost them a lot and will further expose their moral indifference to the epidemic of abuse inflicted by the employees of their institutions.
Cuomo will probably maneuver the legislature to extend the SOL in the future while not opening a window for suing about past abuse by older victims/survivors who are now barred from suing after their 23rd birthday. Politically, such legislation will probably take the wind out of future efforts to open a window for suing about past abuse. This will only be half a loaf. It would have the beneficial effect of scaring the bejeebus out of Haredi schools that continue to protect molesters in their employ.
On the other hand, Cuomo might find a way to support an alternative bill so noxious in other respects that it would be impossible for legislators to support. He will then say, I tried but the legislature failed, while denying that the poison pill was his doing.
Hovering over all this is the question of a one year window to allow past victims older than 22 to sue for their abuse. It is the passion of activist survivors. It is a question not just of money but of validation. Court judgements help to smoke out abusers and expose them to the world. I grieve for each of them denied validation under present NYS laws. If a window was opened we can expect revelations about orthodox institutions as shocking those portrayed in the movie Spotlight about the Catholic church.
I am hoping against hope that a one year window will be opened. We will never stop the cover ups of sex abuse in the orthodox world until shock treatment is administered by civil justice.