Pushing to pass the Child Victims Act in NYS

Posted at 7:03 PM, Mar 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-14 19:32:18-04

Advocates of child sex abuse victims are now stepping up their effort to get the NYS Senate to pass the Child Victims Act.  The proposed law would extend the time that victims can take legal action against an abuser.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly talked with Tom Travers about why the extra time is needed.  Travers said he was raped by a priest when he was nine years old in the mid-1970's.  The trauma caused by the sex abuse threw Travers' life into turmoil for many years - including turning to drugs and alcohol.

He is now using yoga, music, and helping others through a support group he founded called "William's Place" as part of his healing process.

Travers' story in not unique.  Cassandra Merrill, from BestSelf Behavior Health, said very few children report being abused soon after the event.  It is more common for victims to wait years, or even decades, before they are able to disclose and talk about what happened to them.  For some, the disclosure never takes place because the trauma is too great.  Merrill also supports passage of the Child Victims Act.

While he was abused by a priest, Tom Travers reminds the public that most often abusers can be relatives or other people that have close connections with a child.

You can hear more in Ed's report.