ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A bill is headed to the Senate that would help child victims report abuse.
The bill passed the Assembly 139 to seven, but the Senate’s failed to pass similar legislation for over a decade.
“I personally was 15 years old when I was molested by a 33 year-old man,” Bridie Farrell, a victim, said.
Farrell didn’t tell anyone.
“I thought it was really my mistake, I thought it was weird and something that wasn’t supposed to be public, but not necessarily a crime.”
It would take her a decade to realize what happened.
“I was taking a course and you had to make a connection between what we learned and your own personal life. That was the first time, at age 26, that I realized I was a victim of a crime. So to say you have to come forward by age 23, in my case, was truly impossible.”
On Thursday, she stood beside lawmakers who want to give victims up to 28 to file a criminal complaint, 50 for a civil suit, and create a one year window for past victims to initiate lawsuits.
In 11 years, the Child Victims Act has never come to the floor for a vote here in the Senate. Bridie and Democratic Senators are confident this year will be different.
“We’re in a place now where the Assembly agrees, the governor agrees, the Senate Democrats agree,” Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins said.
Only leaving Senate Republicans, but Bridie says seeing the governor’s support is encouraging.
“He has the power to wave a wand and bring these guys together, so I say act like adults, talk about it and figure it out,” Farrell said.