ACTION ALERT: Historic “Walk for a Window” Across the Brooklyn Bridge 6/5/16

WHEN: SUNDAY, JUNE 5, 2016 1 to 3 P.M,
Meet at Cadman Plaza Park (North of the Brooklyn War Memorial), Brooklyn, NY at 12 Noon

WHERE: Start Cadman Plaza Park, Cross Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall Park for 2:00 p.m. Rally and Press Conference

Map:

Survivors of childhood sex abuse, dozens of advocacy organizations from around New York State, and their families, friends, and supporters will march across the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday, June 5th to demonstrate broad public support for the Child Victims Act. Organizers are describing the historic Walk for a Window as the vanguard of “a rapidly evolving and long overdue civil rights movement for children.” Hundreds of walkers will be joined by survivors and advocates from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, who are simultaneously pressing for statute-of-limitations reform in their home states.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Bridie Farrell, 607-280-66O6 , bridie@bridiefarrel.com,
Mike Armstrong (Media for Assemblywoman Marge Markey), 917-279-8437, armmic@earthlink.net

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Co-Sponsor of the Child Victims Act, stated: “On May 23rd the Senate chose not to side with the survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and instead continues to aid and abet predators by refusing to fix [our] broken statutes of limitation. For too long, survivors of child sexual abuse have been denied their rightful day in court… I am honored to join survivors, advocates and lawmakers alike in our Walk for a Window. We’re putting Albany on notice that we’re prepared to go the distance to change New York’s woefully inadequate statutes of limitation, open a look-back window for past abuses, and help bring comfort to all survivors.”

Survivor and champion speed skater Bridie Farrell, who helped organize the event and will emcee the press conference, said, “No one, no community, no religion, no sport, no family is immune to sexual violence, crime, and trauma. Child sexual violence is not a single crime. The resulting paralysis lasts for years and is never forgotten in a lifetime. It is time for Governor Cuomo, Senator Flanagan, and Speaker Hastie to help victims feel freedom and safety, and see to it that pedophiles pay for their crimes.”

The Child Victims Act was first introduced by State Assemblywoman Marge Markey in 2006. “I am so very proud of the organizers of Walk for a Window and grateful for their courage in putting a focus on the life-long consequences of these heinous crimes, and how we can bring them justice and protect future generations of children,” Markey said. “The Child Victims Act and its one-year civil ‘window’ will expose pedophiles and those who hide them from accountability for their crimes. Our current law fails survivors. We need to enact the Child Victims Act with its one-year civil ‘window’ to bring them justice.”

According to Marci Hamilton, Professor of Public Law at Cardozo Law School, “New York is one of the worst states in the US for child sex abuse victims but excellent for pedophiles and the institutions that cover up for them. Now NY will be the first state where so many survivors, supporters, and organizations join together to march for basic children's civil rights.”

Walk for a Window brings together a broad and diverse coalition of survivors, advocacy organizations and legislators, and includes rabbis, Christian clergy members, survivors from the worlds of professional sports and hip-hop music, and many Catholics who were victimized as children.

Survivor and victim advocate, Chaim Levin, described the event as “so important for the safety of children across New York State.” He added: “These laws have allowed abusers to get off without consequence for too long and it's time to change. We will not stop until we see these draconian laws changed."

Advocates for a change in the statute of limitations say the one-year window is essential if justice is to be served, and that private and public institutions will be treated equally under the Child Victims Act. Peter Brooks of the Horace Mann Action Coalition stated, "Students in New York private schools have suffered more abuse by a factor of 10 than those in schools elsewhere. New York's short statute of limitations (SOL) provides a perverse incentive for institutions to cover up abuse, greatly increasing the size and scope of harm. End the SOL to end the incentive for schools to hide crimes going forward. And open a window for justice to identify known abusers still working with children right now."

Ana Wagner, a survivor and organizer of Walk for a Window, said simply, “I will do everything in my power to ensure that other children do not have to go through the sexual abuse that I had to endure for years.” Other survivors agreed. According to Ron Savage, who said he was molested by hip-hop pioneer, Afrika Bambaataa, “This march means… I can finally breathe from keeping the pain locked up in me for decades, from being molested as a young teenager.”

For Kathryn Robb, a survivor of abuse on Long Island and now active with Massachusetts Citizens for Children, “Walk for a Window is about a powerful movement in which truth, justice and the safety of children shall see the light of day. The secrets, lies, cover-ups and protection of predators can only exist in a room without Windows. We are called forward by the light of Justice.”

Survivor and award-winning journalist Stephen Jimenez has repeatedly criticized Catholic Church officials in New York for continuing to spend vast sums of money lobbying against the Child Victims Act. “During his visit to the US last year, Pope Francis stated very clearly that ‘the crimes and sins of the sexual abuse of children must no longer be held in secret,” Jimenez said. “The Pope promised ‘zealous vigilance’ and ‘accountability for all,’ yet Catholic leaders in New York are betraying that promise by continuing to hide truths that the public has every right to know.”

Walk for a Window is co-sponsored by dozens of organizations throughout New York State and beyond. Michael Polenberg, Vice President of Government Affairs for Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading victim service provider, stated, “Safe Horizon is proud to co-sponsor today’s Walk for a Window march to call attention to New York State’s outdated and overly rigid statute-of-limitations laws for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It is critically important for survivors to be able to hold their abusers accountable in a court of law. We strongly urge New York’s lawmakers to stand on the side of children and pass this much-needed reform bill without further delay.”

Former USA National Team member Bridie Farrell added, “On Sunday, June 5th, New York City will be flooded with hope, solidarity, and a call for justice as hundreds of us Walk for a Window. We have only one choice: to protect our children, not predators.”

Organizational Sponsors of Walk for a Window (partial)

The National Black Church Initiative | Safe Horizon | Parent Against Predator
Male Survivor | Kol v'Oz | Jewish Community Watch | Uri L'tzedek
Horace Mann Action Coalition | United Support Network
Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA)
Noble 9 Collective | The Voice of Justice | The Bridge Advocacy Center
AHEART Foundation | NYS Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims
Crime Victims Treatment Center (CVTC)
Incest Survivors United Voices of America, Inc
It was ME Campaign | Stop Abuse Campaign 
Massachusetts Citizens for Children | CallToAction Metro NY
New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault
Footsteps | www.SOL-reform.com | SNAP NY
United Coalition Association | Safe Horizon | GA Families for Justice
CoachedintoSilence.com | FACSA | Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse
Magenu | Positivealicious Blog | HEAL (www.heal-online.org)

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT WALK FOR A WINDOW, PLEASE CONTACT THESE PARTICIPANTS AND REPRESENTATIVES:

Chaim Levin, 917-932-5394, chaim@kolvoz.org
Kathryn Robb, 781-856-7207, krobblawtutor@mac.com
Michael Polenberg, 646-265-7248, michael.polenberg@SafeHorizon.org
Ana Wagner, 347-882-3259, mrs.ana.wagner@gmail.com
Peter Brooks, Horace Mann Action Coalition, 201-981-4728, aha.org@gmail.com
Ron Savage, 929-575-1055, ronsavage@ronaldsavage.com
Noah Gardy (Press Secretary, Senator Brad Hoylman), 201-218-6310, noah@bradhoylman.com
Marci Hamilton, 215-353-8984, hamilton.marci@gmail.com

Leave a Reply