Bill Donohue addresses New York State Assemblywoman Margaret Markey’s Child Victims Act:
Over the past several years, Markey has introduced legislation addressing the sexual abuse of minors. One problem: her bills focus unfairly on private institutions, leaving public institutions virtually untouched. This year’s version of her bill offers no change; it would open up a one-year window for alleged victims who were abused in a private institution regardless of when it took place. But it changes nothing for a victim who was abused in a public school even as recently as Thanksgiving (he only has ninety days to report the abuse).
On Friday, Markey will hold a rally outside City Hall in Manhattan in an attempt to persuade the public. It is interesting to note that the roster of speakers at the press conference does not include anyone from the Department of Education. Doing so would open Markey up to questions that she does not want to answer. One being, why a private school student who had his crotch grabbed by a janitor a quarter century ago has greater rights than a public school student who was abused by a teacher a few months ago.
We contacted Markey’s office earlier this year about the discrepancy in her bill and asked for clarification—we never heard back. This is because she doesn’t want to answer the big question: why the disparate treatment of private and public institutions? Note: in 2009, after months of protest by the Catholic League, Markey amended her bill to cover both public and private institutions, but it was quickly shot down by public school groups.
Those who are interested in true justice should support the legislation introduced by Assemblyman Michael Cusick, which does not discriminate between public and private institutions. His bill treats all alleged victims equally regardless of wherever the abuse occurred. Markey’s selective approach to child sexual abuse, on the other hand, leaves a large proportion of victims still seeking justice.
Contact Markey: MarkeyM@assembly.state.ny.us