On Tuesday, singer Cassie filed a $30 million lawsuit towards music mogul and former boyfriend Sean “Diddy” Combs over what the explosive courtroom paperwork name a “cycle of abuse, violence and intercourse trafficking” that allegedly came about throughout their relationship.
Cassie, whose actual identify is Cassandra Ventura, sued underneath New York’s Grownup Survivors Act, every week earlier than its window closes on Nov. 23. The legislation grants survivors of sexual assault that occurred once they have been on the age of 18 or older a one-year window to sue their abusers, no matter when the abuse occurred.
William Rivera, interim govt director on the New York State Coalition Towards Sexual Assault, advised Yahoo Information that in simply this month alone, there was a large improve in pursuing claims and consciousness underneath the act.
“We’ve this ongoing case, there are circumstances in some increased establishments which are well-known [and] circumstances towards these in lots of jail establishments which have actually been making a wave as effectively,” Rivera stated.
The civil lawsuit describes Combs as being “vulnerable to uncontrollable rage,” and accuses him of beating Ventura “savagely” on a number of events.
“After years in silence and darkness,” Ventura, 37, stated in a assertion Thursday to the New York Occasions, “I’m lastly prepared to inform my story, and to talk up on behalf of myself and for the good thing about different girls who face violence and abuse of their relationships.”
The swimsuit alleges Ventura was lured right into a relationship with Combs beginning in 2007, and claims that Combs “typically punched, beat, kicked and stomped on Ms. Ventura, leading to bruises, burst lips, black eyes and bleeding.”
It additionally states that Combs “blew up a fellow rapper’s automotive after studying he was fascinated about Ventura, pressured her to search out male escorts on-line after which interact in intercourse acts with male intercourse employees underneath the affect of medication he launched to her, and raped her in 2018 after she tried to depart him.”
In a press release to the Occasions, an legal professional for Combs known as the allegations “baseless and outrageous lies,” and claimed that Ventura is “looking for a payday.”
“Mr. Combs vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations. For the previous six months, Mr. Combs has been subjected to Ms. Ventura’s persistent demand of $30 million, underneath the specter of writing a dangerous e book about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail.”
What’s the Grownup Survivors Act?
In Could 2022, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the Grownup Survivors Act, which established a one-time “one-year look again window” that started on Nov. 23, 2022, six months after the act was signed into legislation.
“For a lot of survivors, it might take years to return to phrases with the trauma of sexual assault and really feel prepared to hunt justice towards an abuser,” Hochul stated at a press convention, “whereas probably experiencing worry of retaliation or disgrace.”
“Permitting this one-year look again is mostly a means of claiming we perceive the distinctive struggling that victims endure and the distinctive nature of those circumstances, and we’re simply making an attempt to offer a possibility for everyone to have their day in courtroom,” Wendy Murphy, a former federal intercourse crimes prosecutor and professor of sexual violence legislation at New England Legislation in Boston, advised Yahoo Information in Could.
The laws — just like 2019’s Baby Victims Act, which additionally created a one-year window for childhood sexual abuse survivors to file claims exterior of the statute of limitations — provides accusers who have been sexually assaulted, as an grownup in New York, and who have been exterior of the statute of limitations window, a yr to sue their alleged abusers or any negligent establishments that protected them reminiscent of hospitals, universities or locations of employment, Rivera defined.
“I hope this exhibits that survivors usually are not alone and this might occur to anybody at any level of their lives and that there’s assist on the market,” Rivera stated. “We all know that when these high-profile circumstances do occur, there’s extra consciousness introduced out about it. However the dialog needs to be occurring on a regular basis. I need them to be supported domestically and of their communities … uplifting, listening to, supporting and believing them.”
After the act expires on Nov. 24, survivors should file their claims within the window of the present statute of limitations.
“That was how the laws was written,” Rivera stated, “I want there was extra of an consciousness marketing campaign round it and in addition a element of free authorized help tied to this in order that many would have entry with out incurring monetary obstacles.”
Rivera says that there may very well be extra developments coming down the pipeline in New York to guard survivors from sexual abuse and assault, however insurance policies must be put in place to make sure that disaster packages can proceed working.
“Yearly we’ve got a coverage marketing campaign that we work on. This yr we’re focusing our efforts on advocating and pushing Gov. Hochul to fill the gaps with the anticipated lower in funding for sufferer providers as a result of it could devastate these disaster packages all through New York and those that are impacted the toughest will probably be our low-income and communities of shade.”