(NBC News) — The state of New York is giving a second chance at justice to victims of childhood sexual abuse.
Starting Wednesday New York courts are accepting lawsuits that had previously been blocked by an old statute of limitations.
Hundreds, possibly thousands of lawsuits are expected to be filed during a one year window under the child victims act.
The Roman Catholic Church, The Boy Scouts, schools and hospitals are some of the targets already named.
The new statute of limitations for molestation also gives new victims until age 55 to file lawsuits and until age 28 to seek criminal charges, compared with 23 under the old statute.
New York’s state court system has already designated 45 judges to deal exclusively with the expected lawsuits.
“Today is important,” abuse survivor Joseph Caramanno said. “That was a very dark time in my life. 16, 17-years old, it was very dark. And this is that light. This is the light. Today is the day of the light. Today is the day of the truth. And today is the day that I reclaim the trust that was lost when I was younger. And today is the day that I reclaim the love that was lost.”