Advocates for child abuse survivors on Thursday called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to push for a law that would make it easier for victims to sue, extending the statute of limitations long after the abuse occurred.
"I think everybody probably knows somebody has somebody who has been sexually abused as a child and they want action on it," said gary Greenberg, a Greene County businessman.
Greenberg delivered more than 20,000 petitiion signatures to Cuomo's office to push for the bill known as the Child Victims Act. The bill failed to pass the Legislature despite a strong push from advocates this month.
"When it comes to doing something that is actually controversial, we seem to have a whole lot of people who actually condone child sexual abuse," said Melanie Blow, the CEO of the Stop Abuse Campaign.
Asked about the issue on Thursday in Onondaga County, Cuomo said the proposal, which he supports, was complicated.
"A person needs a right to defend themselves, also. And if the claim is not brought in a timely way, it's hard to defend against," Cuomo said.
But Cuomo also said the rights of an abuse survivor shouldn't be ignored.
"On the other hand, it can prevent victims from getting the redress they deserve. That's the balance," he said.
Greenberg isn't convinced, he plans to spend as much as $200,000, including $100,000 of his own money, to oppose lawmakers in both parties who didn't push for the bill.
It's not a partisan issue. It's kids, it's victims, it's people who are in need of healing," Greenberg said.
Already Greenberg has taken out a newspaper criticizing Republican Senator Kemp Hannon of Long Island for not pushing for the bill.