Cindy Grosz
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Advocates come to Albany to push for final passage of the Child Victims Act

Advocates across New York State are celebrating what they believe will be final passage of the bill which will provide justice for victims of sexual abuse.

Gary Greenberg, the head of the Fighting for Children’s PAC (Political Action Committee), the driving force behind the Child Victims Act, says New York State needs to eliminate the statute of limitations.

There should be no statute of limitations on such a heinous crime as child sexual abuse,” he said during a press conference at the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

Hundreds of supporters from around the state came to Albany yesterday to push for the passage of The Child Victims Act, and are celebrating what they believe will be final passage of the bill which will provide justice for victims of sexual abuse.

Gary Greenberg, the head of the Fighting for Children’s PAC (Political Action Committee), the driving force behind the Child Victims Act, says New York State needs to eliminate the statute of limitations.

“There should be no statute of limitations on such a heinous crime as child sexual abuse,” he said during a press conference at the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

The Child Victims Act failed repeatedly to pass in the state senate mostly due to a one-year “look back” which would allow victims to sue their abusers or organizations that protect them.

The biggest detractors of the bill have been the Catholic Church and some Jewish community groups, which could be vulnerable to civil suits regarding sexual abuse claims.

Gary Greenberg used his own money to form a political action committee to help vote out those who stood in the bill’s way.

He’s now confident that during the 2019 session the Democratic majority will pass the bill.

In New York, the Child Victims Act has been met with opposition by religious institutions, including the Catholic Church and some small Orthodox Jewish groups.

Many religious groups argued that the provision could cause great financial harm for member institutions and place them in the brink of bankruptcy. Mark Meyer Appel, a orthodox Jewish activist and advocacy director of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, in response said he is disappointed that some religious leaders of his own faith are fighting this bill based on the financial losses the institutions will incur rather than caring and supporting the victims of abuse.

Mark Meyer Appel, a Jewish advocate and founder of THE BRIDGE MULTICULTRAL AND ADVOCACY PROJECT has been spearheading this effort for over a decade.

Mr. Appel’s name has come to personify those victims of abuse whose voices have been drowned out in this continuing and painful conversation.

Having started the organization “Voice of Justice” many years ago, Mr. Appel has been an advocate for youth and children’s services and served on the mayor’s task force on mental health. Under the administrations of both Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, Mr. Appel also served on the board of directors of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation as a mayoral appointee.

Mr. Appel’s dedication also stretched to those children with special needs who had been previously ignored or neglected by the system that was created to serve them. In 1990, Mr. Appel worked with both city and state agencies to establish an early intervention program for special needs kids, kids at risk and learning disabled kids.

Mr. Appel also played a major role in finding jobs for marginalized kids, providing them with appropriate education and offering them a substantial amount of financial support.

“When I worked with youth at risk during programs at my home, I discovered that many of them had been horribly abused, “ Mr. Appel ruefully recalled in a 2012 interview.

“The abuse had a major impact on their lives. It really hurt these kids and the family structure. When kids are abused they have tremendous difficulty trusting anyone anymore. Tragically, the leadership in the frum world has not been in the forefront of helping them and that sense of abandonment triggers anger within these victims,” explained Mr. Appel.

Having witnessed the emotional scars and trauma of child sexual abuse among those he worked with, Mr. Appel was driven from a source within himself to help expose this sad epidemic.

Cindy Grosz can be reached at cindyscorners@gmail.com

About the Author
Cindy Grosz is an accomplished activist for pro-Israel and Jewish interests. She writes about “Everything Jewish” and has appeared in multiple media outlets. She is a Contributor on The Jersey Joe Radio Show on WOR710AM, syndicated through iHeartRadio. Grosz is the author of Rubber Room Romance, Everything You Need to Know and Ask About the Education System. She can be reached at cindyscorners@gmail.com.
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