AMHERST, N.Y. -- It can take decades for people who were sexually abused as children to reach a point where they're ready to come forward and tell their story.

Thomas Travers says he was a boy when he tried to report what happened to him.

"I came forward when I was that age. I was told I was a liar. I was told that what happened to me did not happen, that a priest would never do that to a child," said Travers.

He was 48 before he was ready to talk again — 25 years too late to take legal action. Right now, state law sets the statute of limitations on child sex abuse civil actions at the victim's 23rd birthday.

"An age limit of 23 is both unrealistic and archaic. People who are abused as children, studies show more often than not, repress those memories, and they can resurface as late as someone's 40s, 50s," said attorney William Lorenz, Jr.

The assembly passed a bill that would've pushed that back to their 50th birthdays, but the state senate did not take it up before the end of session Wednesday. 

Travers and Lorenz lobbied for the bill, which he says has struggled to make it through both houses for a decade.

"Childhood sexual abuse is something that's systemic in our society," he said. "It's in schools, it's in homes, it's on the playground."

Travers says the most important part for him is holding those who know better accountable.

"Inside our public and private institutions, pedophiles have been moved around to different places, and they're still out on the streets," he said. "The 'window,' which is part of the bill being presented, would force institutions to reveal who they know who pedophiles are."

Those changes will have to wait — for now. Advocates say they'll continue to lobby in hopes that next session survivors will gain more time to be heard.

"Trauma takes a moment to inflict on children, and it takes a lifetime to heal and understand," Travers said.