Advocates for sexually abused children are calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to include the Child Victims Act into the upcoming 2018-19 budget, according to the New York Daily News. The advocates argue that it is the right thing to do for the survivors and it will save the state a quarter of a billion dollars in Medicaid spending.
According to Child USA, 33% of state residents are on Medicaid and many who suffered abuse when they were children are more inclined to develop health problems as they get older. The group goes on to say that, if a victim wins a settlement, part of that money must be used to repay the state Medicaid program for past coverage and treatment in dealing with the abuse. (The organization says Medicaid repayment accounts for approximately half of a settlement and the average settlement for child sexual abuse victims in New York is $250,000.
In addition, Child USA says there are 2,000 child abuse victims who are unable to sue because the statute of limitations has expired on these cases. Currently, they have until their 23rd birthdays to file a lawsuit against their abusers. The Child Victims Act would allow survivors to sue until they turn 50 years of age. The Act would also allow felony criminal cases to be initiated up until the victim turns 28 years of age. It would also give the victims, who were denied the opportunity to take legal action against their abuser, one year to seek redress in civil court, whether the incident occurred at a private or public institution. Currently, anyone who was abused at a public institution, such as a school, is given only 90 days to bring back the case.
The aftereffects of sexual abuse on a child carry into adulthood and may result in mental, physical and emotional health issues. Many child sexual abuse victims rely on public services to treat their illnesses.