Months after the Child Victims Act was passed and thousands of claims were filed in New York state, a discussion on awareness and the ramifications of the bill happened at the University at Buffalo. 

The bill was introduced 13 years ago and struck down multiple times before being signed into law in February 2019.

Prior to the new law officially extending statute of limitations on abuse cases, survivors like former U.S. speed skater Bridie Farell came forward against her own abuser. 

"In New York state, if you did not come forward by age 23, nothing could be done," said Farrell.  

Farrell says the abuse began when she was 15 years old. 

"The following day [after abuse reported,] he admitted it, he apologized for an inappropriate relationship, which you typically don’t see," added Farell. 

Farell later lobbied to hold all abusers accountable. 

"One in four girls and one in six boys are abused by age 18," she added. 

One of the key components of the Child Victims Act is the one-year look-back window, which allows survivors to come forward and file a civil suit against the abuser and any institution that may have covered the abuse. 

"We know the median age for victim to come forward is 56,” said Professor at University at Buffalo School of Law, Christine Bartholomew.

Bartholomew says the passage of CVA is only the first step.

"We've made it so that you have statute of limitations, but now we have to figure out what additional steps need to be taken from cases that have been filed to succeed," said Bartholomew.

The CARE Act, or Child Abuse Reporting Expansion Act, was introduced to expand the definition of mandatory reporters of abuse. 

"What the CARE Act does is require that certain classes of individuals, including clergy, are required to report any abuse known to them," said Assemblywoman Monica Wallace.  

Wallace says this is necessary to close loopholes and avoid the behavior that covered up abuse. 

Bartholomew says it will also keep clergy from using penitent privilege to keep from disclosing information.