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Bivona Child Advocacy Center

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Local supporters are reacting to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to step forward and assist child sex abuse victims.

Cuomo unveiled his 2017 policy initiatives in a book, which included a plan for the Child Victims Act. The proposal would do away with the statute of limitation on prosecutions of those who abused children.  Further, it would allow victims to bring civil lawsuits for 50 years from when their attacks took place.

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Senator Chuck Schumer is promoting bipartisan legislation to close what he calls a "gaping hole" in the federal law.

Schumer says the loophole prevents summer camps and other organizations that work with children from accessing FBI sex offender background checks for prospective employees and volunteers.

At Bivona Child Advocacy Center in Rochester, prevention education and outreach specialist Stefanie Szwejbka says while important, background checks don't guarantee a child's safety.      

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Four more organizations have joined Bivona Child Advocacy Center and other community partners to educate people about child sex abuse.

In a collaborative effort called Darkness to Light, adults are trained how to talk to children about abuse, recognize potential danger, and address the issue.

Bivona's Outreach Specialist Stefanie Szwejbka says this education effort now involves 15 community partners, all of whom undergo training that teaches them intervention techniques.