The Child Victims Act was passed by the state legislature in January 2019. Sexual abuse survivors and advocates spent more than a decade pushing for the legislation.
With it came a one-year lookback window, giving all survivors, regardless of age, the opportunity to file a civil lawsuit against their perpetrator. That was extended an additional year because of issues with court closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jason Amala, a partner at Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC representing Phillips, says it’s not uncommon for survivors to not know about the CVA.
“At the end of the day, it depends: Did someone tune in the news that night when it was covered or read that article the day it was covered in the newspaper? There are a lot of people who just weren’t aware of the first window,” says Amala.
While he credits the state legislature for passing the CVA and extending the lookback window, Amala fears there are survivors who won’t come forward in time.
“We also have to keep in mind, it’s not as simple as telling someone you have a year to file. You also have to give people time to process and really make the decision and the choice when they’re ready to come forward,” says Amala.