Is There a Statute of Limitation for Sexual Abuse Cases?


Experiencing sexual abuse is traumatic, no matter your gender or age — and this painful experience brings a lifetime of emotional and psychological damage. In many cases, victims do not come forward about their abuse due to fear or self-blame. However, speaking up and bringing your abuser to justice can not only stop the abuse, but can also prevent them from finding new victims. Unfortunately, when it comes to civil suits in sexual abuse cases, there is a statute of limitation. Here’s what you need to know.

Common Reasons Victims of Sexual Abuse Do Not Speak Up

There are many reasons why people do not speak up and report sexual abuse. Victims may be reluctant to report their abuser for the following reasons:

  • Feelings of shame
  • Fear they will not be believed
  • Fear of being responsible and blamed for the abuse
  • Fear of punishment
  • Sharing the experience is too emotionally painful
  • Fear of being ostracized

The Statutes of Limitation in Sexual Abuse Cases

Victims of sexual abuse have the right to hold their perpetrators responsible for the reprehensible acts that have been committed against them. Survivors can file a personal injury lawsuit against an organization under which they knew sexual abuse was happening and subsequently ignored. For example, a church may be sued for sexual abuse by a clergy member.

Here are some other facts about sexual abuse lawsuits and statutes of limitation in the state of California:

  • Parents of minors who have endured sexual abuse may file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of their child.
  • There is no criminal statute of limitation for sexual assault of a minor. However, there is a civil statute up to 26 years old.

How an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

Enduring sexual abuse is one of the most horrific experiences anyone can go through. The emotional and psychological damage can be a tremendous burden to overcome. Many victims of sexual abuse are left confused, vulnerable, and unsure where to turn for help.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual abuse, you have the right to pursue legal action for your pain and suffering. Contact Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP today at (213) 267-3640 to learn more about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.