Fighting for Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Under the GMVPL

Survivors of sexual assaults based on gender have important rights under the New York City Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law, a law that provides legal pathways for victims to pursue damages from their abusers and responsible entities.

Thanks to a recent amendment of that law, survivors of sexual abuse that occurred in New York City have a 2-year window to file claims over gender-motivated assaults that occurred at any time in the past. The window opens on March 1, 2023 and closes on March 1, 2025. Our experienced sex abuse lawyers at Levy Konigsberg can evaluate your case and whether you have grounds to pursue a lawsuit.

Levy Konigsberg is an award-winning trial firm that’s recovered over $3 billion in compensation for clients. We’ve championed the rights of assault and sexual abuse victims in claims across the country, and have extensive experience helping victims of sexual-motivated violence protect their rights in the civil justice system.

We’re reviewing lawsuits under the Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law from clients sexually abused or assaulted in New York City. Call or contact us online for a FREE confidential consultation.

What is the Gender-Motivated Violence Protect Law?

The Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law (GMVPL) is a New York City law codified in the New York City Administrative Code. It is intended to protect women and men from gender-based violence that can cause physical, psychological, and economic harm by making it easier for victims to seek justice through the courts for injuries that result specifically from gender-based violence. Courts in New York have recognized that forcible and unconsented to acts of sexual assault and sexual abuse are, by definition, acts of violence motivated by the gender of the victim. Therefore, both female and male sex abuse survivors may be able to seek financial compensation under this new law no matter whether the abuser was a man or a woman, and no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. Our experienced sex abuse attorneys will be able to answer any questions about your potential GMVPL legal claim.

Here are some key facts about the law:

  • Civil remedy. The GMVPL creates a civil cause of action that allows survivors of gender-motivated violence to bring civil lawsuits against their perpetrators / responsible institutions and recover compensation for their damages.
  • Gender-motivated violence. The law applies to victims injured by a “crime of violence motivated by gender,” which is defined as any act or series of acts committed because of a person’s gender. This includes sexual assaults and other sex crimes that constitute a misdemeanor or felony under state or federal law.
  • NYC only. As a city code, the law applies only to New York City only. The violent act must have occurred within the five boroughs of NYC for victims to have valid claims.

The GMVPL is a groundbreaking law that gives survivors a meaningful opportunity to seek justice and a recovery of their damages, even if the sexual abuse occurred decades ago.

Lawsuits filed under the law can be brought against perpetrators and entities or institutions that directed, enabled, participated in, or conspired in the commission of a gender-motivated act of violence. This can include entities that are legally responsible for the conduct of employees, volunteers, or contractors.

GMVPL Amendment Extends Statute of Limitations, Creates Lookback Window to 2025

In January 2022, the New York City Council enacted an amendment to the Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law to provide survivors with more opportunities to step forward with their claims.

The amendment has two important components:

  1. It creates a temporary 2-year lookback window for survivors of gender-motivated violence to file civil lawsuits – even if it has been years or decades since the sexual assault. This lookback window will be open from March 1, 2023 to March 1, 2025.
  2. It extends the statute of limitations, allowing survivors to bring claims within 7 to 9 years from the date the gender-motivated violent act occurred. Without this new law, civil claims filed over sexual assaults would be subject to a shorter statute of limitations.

The NYC Council’s amendment brings powerful changes to a revolutionary law and creates a temporary lookback window that mirrors that of the New York Adult Survivor’s Act, a state law that created a 1-year revival window for sexual abuse survivors to file claims no matter how long ago their abuse took place. While the window for the New York Adult Survivor Act closes on November 24, 2023, the window for sexual assault cases brought under the New York City GMVPL will remain open for more than 1 additional year longer (i.e. closes on March 1, 2025).

As a recognized leader in sexual abuse litigation, Levy Konigsberg is now leveraging our experience and success in this field to help survivors of gender-based violence fight for the justice they deserve. If you have questions about the GMVPL and your legal options, we’re available to review your case during a FREE and confidential consultation.

Do I Have a Claim?

You may have grounds to pursue a civil lawsuit under the Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law if:

  1. You suffered harm and losses due to a sexual assault or sexual crime of violence that was motivated at least in part by gender; and
  2. The sexual assault / gender-motivated crime occurred within any of NYC’s five boroughs.

It is important to note that while the sexually abusive acts in these cases are crimes, lawsuits filed under the Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law are civil matters that are separate from any criminal proceedings. This means that you may still have a viable claim even if your abuser was never charged with a crime and even if they were charged but found Not Guilty.

Our attorneys are readily available to discuss your unique situation and whether you may have grounds to file suit under the GMVPL.

What Damages Can I Recover Under the Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law?

While gender-motivated violence has far-reaching repercussions that can affect victims physically, financially, and emotionally, sexual abuse survivors have historically struggled to obtain meaningful relief through the courts. The Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law was created precisely to help sex abuse victims overcome these barriers and make it easier for them to recover the relief and compensation they deserve.

GMVPL claims entitle victims to various forms of relief, including compensation for damages such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Past and future medical bills
  • Lost income and future wages
  • Punitive damages, depending on the circumstances

In addition to a recovery of economic and non-economic damages arising from their injuries, survivors are also entitled to:

  • Injunctive and declaratory relief
  • Attorney’s fees and costs
  • Other relief deemed appropriate by the court

What Do I Need to Prove in My Claim?

Generally, victims who file civil lawsuits under the GMVPL will need to prove that:

  1. The crime involved in their case was a “crime of violence motivated by gender;” and
  2. That the abuser / entity against whom they have brought their claim is liable

Under the GMVPL, if your abuser was convicted of a crime arising from the same event for which you are filing a claim, that conviction will serve as conclusive proof of the underlying facts of that crime. This is not to say that a conviction alone is proof that the crime was “motivated by gender,” however. Regardless of whether your abuser was convicted in criminal court or not, you’ll need to prove that the violent act was a “crime of violence motivated by gender.” However, there are court cases in New York that have concluded that any act of sexual assault or sexual abuse, that is forcible or without legal consent, is an act of violence which is, at least in part, motivated by gender.

Additionally, you’ll need to prove that any entities or institutions you’ve named as defendants are liable for your damages. This means demonstrating how the entity directed, enabled, knew or should have known, participated in, or conspired in the commission of the gender-motivated crime, or how they may otherwise bear legal responsibility for your losses. Our experienced and compassionate team of sex abuse lawyers and survivor advocates can help guide you through every step of the legal process.

Call For a FREE Case Review

Levy Konigsberg is a U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rated trial firm that devotes a large part of our practice to fighting for victims of sexual abuse, assault, and violence. We’re passionate about the work we do and have the resources and experience to take on the toughest claims.

If you have questions about filing a lawsuit under the NYC Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law we want to help. Our firm is based in Manhattan and serves clients from all five boroughs. Call or contact us online to request a FREE and confidential case review.


Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.


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