The Adult Survivors Act, signed last year by New York Governor Kathy Hochul, allows adult survivors of sexual abuse to take legal action against the people and institutions who hurt them, even if the state’s normal statute of limitations has expired. Specifically, it creates a one-year lookback window for adult survivors of sexual abuse and assault that happened when they were over the age of 18 to file a civil suit in pursuit of justice. Although the Adult Survivors Act has helped women from all backgrounds come forward and tell their stories, it has made a significant difference for many women who have been sexually abused by correctional officers while being incarcerated.
Brut Media/Brut America recently released a short documentary film titled “A Chance for Justice: Life After Abuse in Prison.” It tells the story of women who were sexually abused while imprisoned in the State of New York. The documentary features Attorney Anna Kull of Levy Konigsberg, who has been instrumental in advancing many Adult Survivors Act claims and lawsuits forward for women abused in New York prisons.
In the documentary, Brut Media and Attorney Kull share the story of Jennifer Fecu, one of Anna’s Adult Survivors Act clients. For years, Jennifer was sexually abused while incarcerated and she had been scared and intimidated into staying silent about it. The abuse carried out by correctional officers was so persistent and devastating that even speaking to Attorney Kull about her experiences retraumatized Jennifer, just as it does for so many women. However, Jennifer is bravely taking advantage of the Adult Survivors Act with the help of Attorney Kull and Levy Konigsberg. She has even gone so far as to become an outspoken advocate to encourage more survivors to speak up, which Brut Media’s documentary piece aims to do, too.
Currently, Levy Konigsberg, with Attorney Anna Kull’s leadership, is handling more than 250 cases for women who were sexually abused in New York prisons and correctional facilities. The one-year lookback window opened by the Adult Survivors Act will close this fall.