Albany, NY - Supporters Of Child Victims Act Cautiously Optimistic After 2 Hour Meeting With Cuomo
Albany, NY - Optimism was in the air yesterday for supporters of the Child Victims Act, as Governor Cuomo spent two hours meeting with survivors of childhood abuse in Manhattan.
As previously reported on VIN News(http://goo.gl/Y636ZJ), Cuomo’s announcement this week that he supports eliminating the statute of limitations that prevents adults older than 23 from bringing charges against those who molested them came after the governor was slammed by victims for ignoring their cause.
Yesterday’s meeting was the second such sit down between Cuomo, advocates and abuse survivors as reported by the Daily News. Cuomo, whose girlfriend Sandra Lee underwent surgery yesterday, had not originally been scheduled to attend the meeting, but the governor decided to return to his Manhattan office for the meeting, a gesture that made a strong impression on participants.
“We were moved by the fact that he saw us with his significant other in the hospital,” said advocate Marci Hamilton.
Cuomo pledged his support to the Child Victims Act despite opposition from both the Catholic Church and certain groups within the Orthodox Jewish community.
“I’m hopeful,” said Michael Polenberg, president of Safe Horizon, a victims’ assistance agency. “A lot of important information was shared; a lot of powerful stories were shared. He was with us for a long time.”
Kathryn Robb, of the Massachusetts based Citizens for Children and also an abuse survivor, said that it was evident that Cuomo cared deeply about the issues.
“He gave me hope in leadership,” said Robb.
Cuomo’s meeting comes in stark contrast to vague statements from both Assembly speaker Carl Heastie and Senate majority leader John Flanagan. Supporters of the Child Victims Act criticized state legislators for their inaction on the bill.
“I don’t think the issue is how legislators feel about it,” said abuse survivor Stephen Jiminez. “I think the issue is that it is really time right now, given the large number of sponsors, for this bill to be taken to the floor for a vote.”
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