Thousands of New Yorkers who were molested or sexually abused as children have been waiting for years, for their day in court.
Hundreds of people who say they were victims of sexual assault have filed lawsuits against prominent institutions in the US state of New York, including the Roman Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America, as a new law that extends the statute of limitations on those cases went into effect.
The number had climbed to about 350 legal claims by 8:30 a.m., and risen again to 385 by noon.
According to the state’s landmark Child Victims Act, which legislators passed earlier this year, accusers will have until the age of 55 to file lawsuits and until the age 28 to seek criminal charges.
Advocates, mental health experts and victims say it often takes years for people who were molested as children to speak out about their trauma, even to a loved one.