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As Fashion Week starts, Hochul urged to support Adult Survivors Act – Spectrum News

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Gov. Kathy Hochul is being urged by advocates to support a bill aimed at making it easier for adult survivors and victims of sexual abuse to file lawsuits in New York, as well as additional worker protections as Fashion Week is being held in New York City. 
The advocacy is coming from the Model Alliance, a non-profit organization founded by people who have worked in the fashion industry and now push for strengthened protections for workers. 
Hochul on Wednesday attended the Prabal Gurung Fashion Show in New York City to highlight support for the industry’s recovery from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Model Alliance’s founder and executive director, Sara Ziff, pointed to measures she says are needed to protect workers from a darker side of the industry. 
"Hochul has a real opportunity to turn the page on the Cuomo years not only in terms of government, but across major economic sectors of New York like fashion: a trillion dollar industry that profits handily off the labor of the workers it refuses to protect," Ziff said. "We need both legislative and regulatory reform, and we look to the state’s first female governor to lead on both."
The Adult Survivors Act, modeled after the Child Victims Act, creates a look-back period for survivors and victims of sexual assault and abuse to file lawsuits against the prepatrator or the institution that may have protected them. The measure was approved this year by the state Senate, but has stalled in the state Assembly. 
At the same time, Hochul is being called on to back a range of protections for workers in the fashion industry, including a code of conduct to protect models from harassment and abuse, training for staff, models and contractors, legally binding agreements to ensure compliance, and measures to ensure models are paid for their work in a timely manner. 
"Kathy Hochul, our first female governor, has an opportunity to show survivors that she sees and cares about us by pushing the Adult Survivors Act through and letting time-barred survivors come forward for justice," said Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou. "I join the Model Alliance in calling for companies in the fashion world to adopt the legally-binding RESPECT Program – and I urge Governor Hochul to use her new platform to join in advocating for a safer, more equitable fashion industry."

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