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Gov. Cuomo signs bill extending window for domestic violence victims to sue their abusers


Gov. Cuomo has signed a bill extending the window for domestic violence victims to sue their abusers. (Getty Images/iStock)

Gov. Cuomo signed a bill into law Wednesday that gives domestic violence victims more time to sue their abusers, extending the statute of limitations from one to two years.

The legislation — which applies to civil lawsuits — provides survivors with a better chance to hold perpetrators accountable, according to the governor.

“The trauma of domestic violence can take years to overcome, and frankly one year isn’t enough time for survivors to come to terms with what happened to them and take action against their attacker,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This new measure will help address this injustice.”

Under current law, civil legal action related to injuries caused by domestic violence must be taken within a year. Advocates have long said the window of time is too narrow.

Democratic state Sen. Anna Kaplan, who co-sponsored the bill, welcomed Cuomo’s signature on the new state law.

“For many survivors of domestic violence, the decision to file a civil suit against their abuser is a complicated one that can take a lot of time to consider,” Kaplan said. “This bill doubles the amount of time that a survivor has to make that decision and initiate action against an abuser, and it’s one of many bills supporting survivors that I’m proud to have helped pass this session.”