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me too. International on the Adult Survivors Act


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me too. International on the Adult Survivors Act

A survivor’s quest for accountability and healing can last a lifetime. New York is the latest state to provide survivors the time they need to process and seek accountability on their terms. As of November 24, 2022, survivors can pursue civil lawsuits against the state of New York, no matter how many years have passed. The criminal statute of limitations have long silenced survivors, forcing them to respond to and navigate the justice system through terms prescribed to them, continually creating barriers.

Now, potentially more than 750 formerly incarcerated women in New York are preparing for their quest for accountability thanks to this new law. We are in solidarity with these survivors, who experienced sexual violence at the hands of correctional officers while incarcerated. These courageous survivors are setting a precedent and calling out perpetrators whose harm was enabled by an abusive system.

We recognize that how these survivors are treated will have an exponential impact on the survivors who are considering legal counsel. Still, we understand that lawsuits don’t even begin to grant true justice to these survivors, but they can at least begin or continue a journey toward the healing and restoration they deserve.

As of now, the only other state to have similar legislation is California. We hope that this will serve as motivation to other formerly incarcerated survivors to pursue justice on their own terms. Moreover, we hope that other states will follow suit to approve regulations that allow survivors to come forward, no matter how much time has passed.

All in all, this is not about individual perpetrators of harm. This is about a system that has enabled the abuse of those already navigating a flawed legal system in the U.S. time and time again. This is a significant step for survivors seeking accountability. This is a meaningful stride towards creating resources for survivors. Most importantly, this is a reminder that we must all work to disrupt sexual violence at the root by addressing the culture and the institutions that enable harm in the first place.

me too. International stands in full support of Sadie Bell, Kia Wheeler, Jacqueline Wiggins, and all of the survivors who bravely recall the names of their abusers, hold to account the systems upholding sexual violence, and serve as the tide of change eroding the pillars of harm that impact us all.