We are well into the one-year grace-period (which started on August 14) of New York’s Child Victim’s Act (“CVA”). Victims of childhood sexual abuse of any age can, during this one-year window, sue their perpetrators and those who facilitated the sexual abuse through negligence or worse. More than 600 CVA lawsuits have already been filed. New York childhood sexual abuse lawyers, myself included, have received thousands of calls and emails from victims.
I have been surprised by the many calls I have received from those abused by teachers. Some schools, it turns out, were sexual abuse “clusters”. For example, Kenmore West High School in Buffalo has been in the news for the large number of CVA suits (31) filed against it. Maryvale Union Free School District and Niagara Falls School District also are sexual abuse clusters.
Sexual abuse clusters are the product of what I call a “culture of silence”. A perpetrator cannot rape so many children alone. He needs a culture of silence to surround and insulate him from detection. What do I mean by a culture of silence? It’s a “see no evil, hear no evil” attitude about sexual abuse. It’s a kind of “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” even when the evil perpetrated is against children.