Melanie Blow was 24 years old when she identified to police the man she said raped her as a teenager, a man who was now suspected of abusing another child.
“I just figured that a conviction was a sure thing and I was going to get my day in court and this was all going to end,” said Blow, a Rochester resident who is now COO of Stop Abuse Campaign. “I had absolutely no voice in the matter. I was 24 and the statute of limitations had run out on me.”
Victims of child sexual abuse may spend a lifetime suffering from the trauma they experienced, but New York State law requires them to take legal action against their abusers no later than their 23rd birthdays.
For 12 years, advocates have tried to change that limit with the Child Victims Act, and for 12 years, the act has failed before reaching a vote on the state Senate floor. Supporters are more hopeful in this, an election year, after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo included it in his January fiscal plan. It is expected to be part of the new state budget that is due March 31.
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