Gotham Gazette

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sexual assault

sexual assault

  • What to Know About the Adult Survivors Act, New York’s New Law Allowing Civil Suits Over Past Sexual Abuse

    Gov. Hochul signs the Adult Survivors Act (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)

    As of November 24, the Adult Survivors Act went into effect in New York State, allowing survivors of sexual offenses one year to file civil claims for cases that occurred even decades ago. 

    The Adult Survivors Act (ASA) was signed into law in May by Governor Kathy Hochul, the state’s first female governor, and removes the statute of limitations for certain civil claims regarding past sexual offenses between November 24 2022 and

  • Reason to be Thankful This Holiday Season: New Law Empowers Sexual Assault Survivors

    Gov. Hochul signs the Adult Survivors Act (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)

    On Thanksgiving, survivors of sexual abuse in New York had something to be truly thankful for. November 24 marked the opening of a one-year period when, under a new law, survivors can file a civil claim against the person who abused them and any institutions that enabled the abuse, no matter how long ago the abuse happened.

    This law,...

  • Gender Violence is on the Manhattan DA Ballot

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    Voters voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    New Yorkers are choosing the next Manhattan District Attorney, who will profoundly shape prosecutions of gender-based violent crimes like sexual assault, domestic violence, trafficking, stalking, and hate crimes targeting women of color. It is essential that the next Manhattan DA combat the scourge of mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, and at the same time combat the under-prosecution of violent and predatory gender-based crimes. In the U.S., 49 out of 50 ...

  • One Crime Question Mayoral Candidates Still Need to Answer

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    Ending violence against women (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    In poll after poll in the lead-up to the mayoral primary election, New Yorkers are citing crime and public safety as a top issue of concern. Yet debate after debate, the question never gets asked, “what will you do to root out sexual assault and street harassment as part of rebuilding New York and creating a world class city?”

    Women want to know: when will leaders realize that running on a platform to transform how we treat women is a winning one.

    It’s an area of crime that no

  • How District Attorneys Must Step Up to Support Survivors

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    A rally for survivors (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office doesn’t currently have prosecutors dedicated to combatting sex crimes. Yes, you read that right. Assistant District Attorneys responsible to victims of sexual violence simultaneously work in the Trial Bureaus and on sex crimes. This means that staff are overloaded, victims are not being put first, and the system churns rather than addresses the root causes of the violence. 

    As a survivor of sexual violence and as a prosecutor whose career has been

  • Two Essential Reforms to the Manhattan DA’s Office to Better Protect Victims

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    The 16th Annual Gladys Ricard and Victims of Domestic Violence Memorial Walk/Brides' March (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is in need of reform, but practicality and feasibility must be considered first and foremost when we look to implement changes that can realistically make a difference in its effectiveness in serving New Yorkers. Make no mistake though, internal and pragmatic changes can make those differences significant for many people who experience what are often traumatic instances of direct contact with our criminal

  • New York Must Pass the 'Rape is Rape' Bill

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    (photo: the governor's office)

    At the end of August, NBC New York ran a story about a young woman who was raped after going out to a Manhattan bar. Despite the fact that she came forward, wanting justice to be done, the Manhattan District Attorney refused to prosecute the case.

    When a reporter questioned his decision not to pursue charges, DA Cyrus Vance’s staff shared a letter he wrote

  • How the Mayor and NYPD Must Step Up for Sexual Assault Accountability


    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Not nearly enough has been done to improve New York City’s response to sexual assault in the one year since the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) issued a blistering report on how the NYPD was failing to make sexual assault response a priority. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s primary response to the report has been to question its accuracy.

    The mayor needs to see that many of the failures

  • When Government Does Support Survivors’ Healing


    (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)

    The New York City Council on Thursday voted unanimously (47-0) to approve a local law to amend the city’s administrative code allowing for the redaction of physicians’ names from birth certificates when their medical license has been surrendered or revoked by the state’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct. To some, this may seem like administrative

  • Will Tish James Follow Her Campaign Rhetoric and Investigate Cy Vance?

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    AG Tish James (photo: New York Attorney General website)

    In 2018 Letitia James won a historic election to become the first woman of color to hold statewide office in New York and the first woman to be elected Attorney General. Filling a seat vacated by Eric Schneiderman (a misogynist playing women’s champion by day), James pledged to be a new kind of people’s lawyer, “unbossed and unbought” by Governor Andrew Cuomo

  • Pointing to Deficiencies, Victims Call for Changes to State’s New Sexual Harassment Policies

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    (photo via the Governor's Office)

    The problem of sexual harassment in New York state politics is systemic and plaguing young women beginning their careers, according to a group fighting to change the culture and the laws around the issue. And, they argue that recently adopted state measures to fight the scourge are insufficient, despite being touted by Governor Andrew Cuomo as “the best in the nation.”

    The seven women of The Sexual Harassment Working Group -- all of whom have been personally affected by sexual harassment

  • Council Members Announce Legislation to Root Out Sexual Misconduct in City Government

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    Council Members Rosenthal and Levine (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)

    Amid a national outcry against sexual assault and sexual harassment, including in the workplace -- intensified by numerous accusations against sitting members of Congress that have resulted in two resignations thus far -- members of the New York City Council are stepping up to combat, prevent and expose any cases of sexual misconduct within their own ranks and that of the gargantuan city government.

    A series of

  • Amid Larger Moment, Will Albany Face Another Sexual Misconduct Reckoning?

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    Gov. Cuomo, Sheldon Silver & Dean Skelos in 2012 (photo via The Governor's Office)

    As allegations of sexual harassment and assault against disgraced movie producer and major Democratic political donor Harvey Weinstein piled up earlier this month, women around the world took to social media to share stories of abusive behavior using the hashtag #MeToo.

    The light being shone on the predatory behavior of Weinstein and

  • To Combat Increase in Reported Rapes, Experts Point to Prevention

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    City Coucil Member Laurie Cumbo leads a press conference (photo: William Alatriste)

    Reported rapes are on the rise in New York City. Despite an overall downward trend in felony crime, 2015 saw a 6.3 percent increase in the number of rapes reported, up to 1,439 from 1,354. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and others have attributed this

  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, Jan. 11-15

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    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York

    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday January 15

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Governor Cuomo gives his State of the State address, via the governor's office

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    Sexual Assault Becomes Focus of Public Discussion


    Council Member Cumbo (photo: William Alatriste)

    Even before a horrific rape incident became the focus of news reports and statements from elected officials over the weekend, lawmakers and advocates planned to rally Monday morning at City Hall to call for new measures to protect women from violent assault.

    While major felonies dropped overall in New York City in 2015, there were more rapes reported than the year before. There have also been alarming reports of rape connected to women riding in cabs and other for-hire vehicles. In discussing crime data ...

  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, January 11

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall

    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Eyes are on Albany this week as we head toward Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State and budget address on Wednesday in the capital. The governor has spent the past week rolling out pieces of his agenda, including events and announcements over the weekend, largely focused on infrastructure, but also criminal justice reform, the minimum wage, economic development, and more.

    The two houses of the state