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New York Child Victims Act Law Long Overdue

Posted in Child Advocacy Center, General, Mental Health by SaratogaCFF on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 12:19 pm
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John Kelly

“It has been long overdue; today we celebrate with victims,” says John Kelly, Law Enforcement Coordinator at Saratoga Center for the Family regarding the passing of New York’s Child Victims Act.

Kelly explained that for victims of child sexual abuse, the passing of the Child Victims Act will help adult victims of abuse heal. “This is finally a message from our leaders that we believe you and feel this issue is important,” says Kelly. “For years, victims of abuse who bravely approached law enforcement to report the abuse were devastated to learn that no criminal action could be taken in some cases due to the statute of limitations.”

Kelly personally and professionally knows of several adult victims of child sexual abuse who may decide to pursue their options now that the Child Victims Act has been passed, and in doing so will give them hope to keep moving forward. He says, “Some victims may not be looking at just monetary compensation, but rather looking to be heard and acknowledged. Hearing the words, ‘we believe you’ and ‘what happened was wrong and not your fault’ help remove the weight off the shoulders of victims and the road to healing can begin or continue.”

Jennifer Wormley

Jennifer Wormley, Director of the Child Advocacy Center at Saratoga Center for the Family, agrees. “There may be victims who were either afraid to come forward or who just weren’t ready and when they did feel comfortable enough to tell their story, because of the statute of limitations, they may have felt it was pointless,” she says. “Now, all victims can come forward and shine a light on someone that needs to be investigated. Being able to share their story will not only bring them much needd closure, but will possibly help protect others.”

Rebecca Baldwin

“We are all pleased with the outcome of the vote,” says Rebecca Baldwin, Executive Director of Saratoga Center for the Family. “No one should feel rushed to tell their story of abuse; only the individual knows when the time is right for them; and now, the time will always be right.”

For anyone who needs support, Baldwin says Saratoga Center for the Family has certified, professional therapists who are trained in trauma, along with a Child Advocacy Center (CAC) where families and children go to feel safe and supported. The CAC’s multidisciplinary team specializes in working with families and children who are victims of abuse, explains Baldwin.

Saratoga Center for the Family serves Saratoga County and the surrounding communities. They have the Harriet M. West Child Advocacy Center and therapists located at their main office at 359 Ballston Avenue, Saratoga Springs. Saratoga Center for the Family also locates therapists in Scotia-Glenville, Shenendehowa, and South Glens Falls School Districts; and community locations in Mechanicville and Corinth. For more information on Saratoga Center for the Family, visit their website at saratogacff.org or contact the main office at (518) 587-8008.