The Senate Majority Conference this week passed the Child Victims Act, reforming New York State’s outdated statute of limitations for child sexual abuse.

The Child Victims Act raises the criminal statute of limitations for child sexual abuse crimes by five years and raises the civil statute of limitations for cases of action brought by someone seeking redress for physical, psychological or other injury caused by child sexual abuse to age 55.

“When we took up this fight for the Child Victims Act, none of us thought it was going to be this tough or take this long,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “Government has a responsibility to stand up for the survivors of these heinous crimes. That is why the Senate Democratic Majority has been fighting alongside survivors and advocates for years to pass the Child Victims Act and remove the barriers that have been protecting predators.”

The legislation will create a one-year window, starting six months from the effective date of the bill, for past victims of child sexual abuse to initiate lawsuits against their abusers and the public and private institutions that let the abuse happen.