NEW YORK (PIX11) — On Thanksgiving Day, the Adult Survivor’s Act takes effect in New York. It creates a one-time, one-year window for adult sexual assault survivors to press charges, regardless of when the crime happened.

“We, along with thousands of New Yorkers, give thanks to our lawmakers who have created this one-year look-back period, which basically opens up the statute of limitations so that victims of sexual assault in New York can hold their predators accountable,” said Attorney Carrie Goldberg. 

Goldberg is the founder of C.A. Goldberg, PLLC, in Brooklyn. She has teamed up with fellow Brooklyn attorney Susan Crumiller, founder of Crumiller P.C., to create the ‘Survivor’s Law Project.’ The joint venture between firms allows them to combine resources and better prosecute cases under the Adult Survivor’s Act. 

Temporarily lifting the statute of limitations is especially helpful in cases of sex crimes, which often take years to process. 

“Both of our firms – and a lot of other firms that fight sex abuse – got a lot of calls when the ‘Me Too’ movement kind of exploded in the public awareness of people who felt they had never really comprehended what had happened to them, that it was something they could seek justice for,” said Crumiller. “And, at that time, we had to tell them we’re sorry, it’s too late.” 

Under the Adult Survivor’s Act, people can also sue anonymously as ‘Jane Doe’ or press charges against institutions or individual estates. 

For those unsure, if they have a case or do not know if they want to prosecute, Goldberg and Crumiller suggest talking to a lawyer for free. 

“It’s a big step. It’s a big mental shift,” said Crumiller. “And it is just phenomenally exciting to be able to say. Now we can get justice for you.”