State Needs To Find A Way To Help Victims Of Sexual Abuse

It was interesting to see a report in Newsday last week indicating Democrats in the state Legislature were taking a second look at the Child Victims Act.

The story quotes Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, D-Albany, as one of the Democratic Party legislators voicing concern that the legislation, as previously proposed, could have serious financial implications for the state.

“These are no longer one-house issues and they have serious financial implications for the state,” Fahy told Newsday’s Michael Gormley. “We have a lot of homework to do.”

She’s right, of course. We’re glad to see some circumspection from Democrats. The state should absolutely find a way legislatively to help victims of child sexual abuse get justice — whether that justice is financial, criminal or therapeutic. It’s hard to shake the reasoning of state Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, who told The Post-Journal several months ago that the legislation passed in the Assembly in 2017 could have far-reaching impacts.

The issue is bigger than just the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church, two organizations that typically are at the center of the Child Victims Act debate. Organizations with a rampant history of abuse — and covering up that abuse — should be punished. Should even the worst of these organizations, with the darkest of histories, be punished out of existence? It’s a question that state legislators should ask during legislative deliberations on the Child Victims Act.