How to Report Sexual Abuse in New York City | Reporting Sexual Assault NYC [2023 Guide]

Reporting Sexual Abuse in NYC & Hiring a Lawyer

Sexual abuse is a traumatic experience that can occur in various settings, including the workplace, hospitals, schools, churches, and more.

In New York, there are laws that protect victims of sexual abuse and allow them to seek justice through criminal charges and civil litigation.

How to Report Sexual Abuse in New York City; NYC Sexual Abuse Lawyer

This article provides an overview of the relevant laws in New York, the various types of sexual abuse that can occur in different settings, and the specific challenges that victims may face when reporting abuse and filing a civil lawsuit.

Additionally, this article will provide detailed information on the steps that victims can take to report abuse and file a civil lawsuit in New York, including any relevant time limits for taking action.

Finally, resources and organizations that can provide legal assistance and support to individuals who have experienced sexual abuse in New York will also be listed.

Table of Contents

Types of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can take many forms, and it can occur in various settings. Some of the common types of sexual abuse include:

  • Sexual harassment: This involves unwanted sexual advances, comments, or conduct in the workplace or any other setting.
  • Sexual assault: This is any unwanted sexual contact, which includes rape, groping, or forced sexual acts.
  • Child sexual abuse: This is any sexual activity between an adult and a child, including inappropriate touching or sexual acts.
  • Domestic violence: This is when sexual abuse is used as a tool of control or manipulation in a domestic relationship.

Challenges that Many Victims of Sexual Abuse Face

Victims of sexual abuse may face several challenges when reporting the abuse or filing a civil lawsuit. Some of these challenges include:

  • Fear of retaliation: Victims may fear retaliation from the abuser or other parties, such as losing their job or being harassed. If a sexual assault occurred on the premises of an organization or by an employee, a victim may fear that the organization may use its influence to silence their reports and protect the abuser.
  • Lack of evidence: Sexual abuse can be difficult to prove with documentary evidence, and victims may not have physical evidence or witnesses to support their claims. This should not dissuade you from seeking justice and reporting what happened.
  • Statute of limitations: Victims may worry that they have a limited amount of time to file a civil lawsuit in New York. The statute of limitations has varied depending on the type of abuse and the circumstances, but with new laws like the Adult Survivors Act and the Child Victims Act, more people can seek justice for sexual violence they’ve experienced.
  • Trauma: Sexual abuse can cause significant emotional and psychological trauma, which may make it challenging for victims to report and pursue legal action.

How to Report Sexual Abuse in New York City

If you or a loved one have been sexually assaulted, you can report the abuse to law enforcement or file a complaint with the appropriate agency or organization.

Your initial report to law enforcement will help create a paper trail that can be used in future criminal or civil legal proceedings.

In New York, victims can report sexual abuse to the police, the district attorney’s office, or the state attorney general’s office. They can also file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or the U.S. Department of Education.

Where and How to Report Sexual Assault

  • Contact law enforcement: If you have been sexually assaulted, you can contact your local police department, a police officer, or call 911 to report the crime. The creation of an initial police report can help you hold the abuser accountable.
  • Report to a hospital: If you have been sexually assaulted, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. At the hospital, you can receive medical treatment and also report the assault to a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE), a type of medical personnel that can help collect DNA evidence and other forensic evidence and preserve it through a rape kit or similar testing. A sexual assault forensic exam can help identify your abuser and have their information logged with relevant agencies that can hold them liable.
  • Report using a hotline: New York State has several hotlines available for victims and survivors of sexual abuse, including the New York State Hotline for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence (1-800-942-6906) and the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE).
  • Report to a workplace or school: If you have experienced sexual harassment or assault at school or in the workplace, report the abuse to your school (or the campus based law enforcement) or employer. Keep in mind that in the past, some schools and organizations have actively worked to cover up sexual assaults and sexual violence that have occurred on their premises or by their employees. Contact an experienced lawyer for help if this happens to you.

Where and How to Report Suspected Child Abuse

Child sexual abuse is an abhorrent crime that deserves the maximum punishment possible in both criminal proceedings and civil litigation. Any person who harms children or aids in the abuse of children should be held liable to the fullest extent.

To report suspected child abuse, you can follow these steps:

  • Contact the New York Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR) by calling their toll-free hotline at 1-800-342-3720.
  • If the child is in immediate danger, call 911 or the local police department.
  • Provide as much information as possible about the suspected abuse, including the child’s name and age, the alleged abuser’s name and contact information (if known), and any other relevant details.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about the abuse, including when and where it occurred, and any other relevant information that may help investigators.
  • If you are a mandated reporter, such as a teacher, healthcare provider, or social worker, you are required by law to report suspected abuse to the SCR within 24 hours.
  • Follow up with the SCR to ensure that your report was received and to provide any additional information that may be needed.
  • Cooperate with law enforcement and child protective services if an investigation is opened, including providing any evidence or testimony that may be required.
  • Seek support for yourself and the child, as reporting abuse can be a traumatic experience. Consider contacting a local victim services organization or a therapist who specializes in working with survivors of sexual abuse.

Contacting child protective services to report suspected abuse or sexual violence against children saves lives.

Relevant New York State Laws on Sexual Assault and Abuse

New York has several laws that protect victims of sexual abuse and allow them to seek justice through criminal and civil litigation.

Some of the relevant laws include:

  1. The Child Victims Act: This law extends the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases and allows victims to file a civil lawsuit until they are 55 years old.
  2. The Adult Survivors Act: This law extends the statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases and allows victims to file a civil lawsuit in the “lookback window” between Nov. 24, 2022 and Nov. 23, 2023.
  3. Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Act: This new law opens up the ability for more victims of sexual violence to file suit against their abusers and the organizations that enabled them.
  4. The Human Rights Law: This law prohibits sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations.
  5. Title IX: This federal law prohibits sex discrimination in education and requires schools to have procedures for responding to reports of sexual assault.

What are Mandated Reporters?

In New York State, it is mandatory for certain employees of institutions like hospitals and churches to report all instances of staff misconduct or inappropriate behavior, or in other instances where it is suspected that abuse or mistreatment has occurred.

This rule is enforced by New York Social Services Law § 491.

Mandated reporters include, but are not limited to, the following occupations and positions:

  • Physicians
  • Registered Physician’s Assistants
  • Registered Nurses
  • Surgeons
  • Medical Examiners
  • Psychologists
  • Social Services Workers

Too often, institutions ignore the rules on mandated reporting in order to protect staff from repercussions, uphold their institutional culture, or to save themselves from backlash, scrutiny, or civil action.

Our law firm’s goal is to both secure justice for survivors of sexual violence, and to also influence decision-making at a state level to protect victims and ensure that powerful organizations are unable to use loopholes and evade responsibility for their actions.

Resources and Organizations for Sexual Assault Survivors

There are several national and local resources and organizations that victims of sexual abuse can turn to for support and to help connect them with legal assistance.

Some of these resources include:

  1. RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): This national organization provides resources and support to victims of sexual assault and their loved ones. RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which provides around-the-clock support at 1-800-656-4673.
  2. Safe Horizon: This organization provides counseling, legal assistance, and other support services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.
  3. New York State Office of Victim Services: This agency provides financial assistance and other support services to victims of crime.
  4. The NYC Family Justice Centers (FJC): This organization provides free counseling for victims.
  5. New York State Bar Association: This organization provides resources and information about legal assistance for victims of sexual abuse.

Filing a Civil Lawsuit for Sexual Assault or Abuse in New York

Victims of sexual abuse can file a civil lawsuit against the responsible party to seek compensation for damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Under the New York Adult Survivors Act, victims whose abuse was previously barred by the statute of limitations (time limit on filing) are now able to file new lawsuits against their abusers and the organizations that allowed the abuse to occur. Lawsuits under the ASA must be filed within the “lookback window”: between November 24th, 2022 and November 23rd, 2023.

The following are the steps for filing a civil lawsuit in New York:

  1. Hire an attorney: Victims should hire an attorney who specializes in sexual abuse cases to guide them through the process.
  2. File a complaint: The attorney will file a complaint on behalf of the victim, which includes a description of the abuse, the damages suffered, and the relief sought.
  3. Serve the defendant: The defendant must be served with a copy of the complaint, and they have a specified time to respond.
  4. Discovery: Both parties exchange evidence and information, and depositions may be taken.
  5. Settlement negotiations: The parties may engage in settlement negotiations to resolve the case before trial.
  6. Trial: If the case does not settle, it will proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome.

The DiPietro Law Firm: Helping Survivors of Sexual Abuse Get Justice

Anthony T. DiPietro, the founder of the DiPietro Law Firm, has devoted his career to helping survivors of sexual assault and abuse get justice for what they’ve experienced.

Our law firm has been leading the fight against influential organizations who protect sexual predators. In two separate settlements, we’ve secured over $236 million for over 200 women against Columbia University and its affiliates for allowing Robert Hadden (a former OBGYN) to abuse women.

We understand the difficulties of speaking out and sharing your story, and we promise to fight alongside you every step of the way. We are sensitive to the needs of victims and use a trauma-informed approach to ethically speak to and handle the cases of our clients.

Contact us for a free consultation. We’re here to help.

Resources for Sexual Exploitation & Abuse Survivors

We’re currently investigating this case and many other cases involving serial sexual predators.

As more information becomes available on our cases, we will share it on the The DiPietro Law Firm Twitter account (@atdipietro).

If you’re a survivor of sexual exploitation and abuse, please contact our Free Consultation Helpline for a 100% confidential and free consultation about your case at (212) 233-3600.

You’re not alone anymore.

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Here, at The DiPietro Law Firm, we’re committed to helping victims of sexual abuse and assault find the justice they deserve.

All information discussed during our consultations always remains completely 100% confidential.

Would you like our help?

About Anthony T. DiPietro

Founder Anthony T. DiPietro, Esq. is a compassionate and skilled trial attorney who has completely dedicated the past 23 years of his career to litigating medical malpractice and sexual abuse cases against major corporate institutions including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and other wrongdoers.

Mr. DiPietro has also obtained some of New York State’s highest verdicts and settlements, and has been selected to New York State Super Lawyers® each year, for the past 10 years in a row.

In 2022, Mr. DiPietro was selected as one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators for the landmark cases he’s won on behalf of survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse.

Verdicts & Settlements
Recent Posts
Do You
Have A Case?

Here, at The DiPietro Law Firm, we’re committed to helping victims of sexual abuse and assault find the justice they deserve.

All information discussed during our consultations always remains completely 100% confidential.

Would you like our help?

Cases We're Currently Litigating

Years of Abuse:  1987 – 2016

Brief: 

Robert Hadden, a disgraced Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OB/GYN) who worked for Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, was criminally convicted in 2016 of sexually exploiting and abusing patients under the guise of medical care.

Hadden used his position of authority and trust to sexually exploit women and girls for nearly three decades as a Columbia University physician.

All the while, Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital administrators turned their backs and ignored reports of Hadden’s abuse, gaslighting patients and the public.

Read More:

Years of Abuse:  1979 – 2022

Brief: 

David H. Broadbent is a former OB/GYN under criminal investigation and facing civil lawsuits for sexual abuse of patients.

Broadent worked at multiple medical facilities in the Provo, Orem and Salt Lake City, UT areas.

These facilities included Intermountain Healthcare’s Utah Valley Hospital, MountainStar Healthcare’s Timpanogos Hospital, other Utah health care providers, and he also had adverse action taken against his medical license back in 1990.

Read More:

Years of Abuse:  1961 – 1996

Brief: 

22 predator teachers and administrators, over the course of 35 years.

Free Consultation Helpline

If you have any questions about whether or not you have a case, or just want to obtain more information about what you’ve experienced – feel free to contact us through our secure website chat.

You can also contact us by calling us at (212) 233-3600 or toll free at (800) 215-1003.

All of our consultations are free and 100% confidential. Thank you.