WE DID IT!
Updated: Feb 22, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEBRUARY 14, 2019
GOV. CUOMO TO SIGN HISTORIC NEW YORK CHILD VICTIMS ACT
Survivors and advocates – including NY Loves Kids – celebrate a long-sought victory and the chance for justice
NEW YORK, NY (Feb 14, 2019) – NY Loves Kids (NY Loves Kids), other advocacy groups, and survivors of child sexual abuse will be present Thursday to witness Governor Andrew Cuomo sign the Child Victims Act into law for New York state. Until now, the state had one of the most restrictive – and least progressive – child sexual abuse laws on record.
Survivors and advocates began working to change the law over a decade ago. The Child Victims Act was first introduced in the legislature by former Assemblywoman Marge Markey and ultimately sponsored by Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and Senator Brad Hoylman.
The Child Victims Act was finally passed through the extensive grassroots work of advocates across the state. Bridie Farrell, co-founder of NY Loves Kids emerged in recent years as one of the movement’s most outspoken, compassionate, and inclusive leaders.
Farrell is a native New Yorker who grew up in Saratoga Springs. At 15, Farrell was sexually abused by speed skating teammate and Olympic silver medalist Andy Gabel, then 33. Fifteen years later, Farrell publicly disclosed the abuse, which Gabel acknowledged in the Chicago Tribune. At the time, New York’s restrictive statute of limitations left Farrell with no legal recourse for justice, while her abuser remained in the athletic community, unidentified by authorities.
“As I began sharing my personal experience of child sexual abuse, so many people let me know how my speaking out had helped them and encouraged them to do the same,” says Farrell. “I realized a unique opportunity to amplify their voices, to redirect the conversation about child sex abuse, and to engage people in creating a safer New York.”
Farrell quit her job at New York Life Insurance Company in 2016 to focus on passing the Child Victims Act. “There wasn’t one organization or person dedicated solely to extending the statute of limitations for survivors in our state, and I decided that’s what was needed to make it happen,” explains Farrell. In September of 2017, Farrell co-founded NY Loves Kids with Jeremy Tchaban.
Together Tchaban and Farrell dedicated all their efforts to educating New Yorkers on Child Sexual Abuse, sharing the devastating impact it has on individuals, communities, and families (see attached fact sheet). NY Loves Kids campaigns spread awareness and helped local constituents emerge to share their personal stories, many tagged #KidsToo on social media.
“Change starts locally, and because our state embodies such diverse communities, it’s an ideal place to start advocating for the change we hope to see nationwide.” says Tchaban.
“The signing of this bill on February 14 is a giant Valentine to our state and its survivors, but there is much more to do,” says Farrell. NY Loves Kids is preparing support resources with information on the Child Victims Act, and how victims can pursue legal action under the new law. NY Loves Kids outreach will include a statewide tour to share resources, survivor stories, and interviews with experts and lawmakers. # # # To speak with Bridie Farrell about bringing the bill to passage, and how NY Loves Kids plans to support survivors under the new law, contact email@example.com OR call/text (646)475-3000. NY Loves Kids can also provide photos/video from today's signing on request.