Child sex abuse survivors rally in Bay Ridge

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BAY RIDGE -

Victims of child sex abuse rallied Monday outside state Sen. Martin Golden's office in Bay Ridge.

The demonstrators voiced their anger at Golden for his refusal to support a proposed piece of legislation to extend the time victims have to report such crimes. They claim he is protecting abusers and failing victims.

The Child Victims Act would give victims of child sex abuse more time to come forward and file charges against their alleged abuser. Currently, most victims have until the age of 23 to come forward.

"We are losing the vast majority of victims because the courthouse is shut before they're even ready to come forward," said Marci Hamilton, CEO of Child USA.

Survivors of child sex abuse say it could take decades to grapple with the pain and come forward.

"Why should predators be protected by the passage of time, but victims continue to suffer endlessly?" asks Kathryn Robb, a child sex abuse survivor. "It's insanity."

Robb was one of the survivors who attended the rally. She told the crowd she was raped by a family member when she was 9 years old but kept it a secret for decades. Other attendees came forward with their stories of being sexual abused by people close to them, including basketball and hockey coaches.

A spokesperson for Sen. Golden says he and other state senators are committed to doing even more to punish dangerous sexual predators and protect the child of New York.

"Everyone agrees that everything should be done to help those who have been sexually abused transition from being a victim to becoming a survivor. The question is how best to do that," the spokesperson said.

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