While every victim’s story is unique, the patterns of systemic abuse and institutional indifference are similar. For decades, the Catholic Church, Boy Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, public and private schools, and a multitude of institutions entrusted with the care of children negligently allowed thousands of children to fall prey to sexual predators. The emotional, physical, and psychological trauma that comes from being a victim of sexual abuse can last a lifetime, and obtaining justice against an abuser takes courage. Too often we see survivors who never have a chance to tell their story. This trend is changing as new laws around the country are being passed that permit survivors of childhood sexual abuse/trauma to bring their claims in civil court even if they are well into adulthood. Under Illinois law, a victim of childhood sexual abuse can bring a lawsuit in civil court up until their 38th birthday. Victims can even file their lawsuit beyond their 38th birthday when special circumstances exist.
The laws in New York, New Jersey, California, and Hawaii have recently changed as well, and we are working diligently to file these cases around the country so our clients have access to justice that they so rightly deserve.
However, time is of the essence when pursuing a claim for childhood sexual abuse. The recent changes in the law in several states are as follows:
- New York: Victims of childhood sexual abuse can file a claim up until their 55th birthday. If you are over 55 years of age, you will need to file your claim before August 14, 2020, or your case will be time-barred.
- New Jersey: Victims must file their cases before they turn 55 or within 7 years of when they discover their abuse, whichever is later. If a childhood sexual abuse victim is over 55 and knew of the abuse for more than 7 years, they must file their case prior to December 1, 2021.
- California: Victims can file a case for childhood sexual abuse prior to their 40th birthday or within 3 years of discovering that their psychological injuries were caused by childhood sexual abuse. All victims, regardless of when the abuse took place, can file prior to January 1, 2023.
- Hawaii: Victims of childhood sexual abuse can file a case prior to April 24, 2020, regardless of when the abuse took place.
If you were sexually abused as a child in Chicago, or anywhere else in Illinois, New York, New Jersey, California, or Hawaii, you may be able to file a case and receive monetary compensation for the abuse and trauma you endured and its lasting effects. Our staff of attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants have extensive experience working with survivors of sexual abuse and work hard to ensure that each survivor’s call is handled with compassion, respect and confidentiality. If you’d like to share your story with us, you can receive a free case evaluation from one of our sexual abuse attorneys toll-free at 800-322-5573.
You can also fill out the easy-to-use Free Case Evaluation form on this page with any questions or comments, and a qualified representative will respond to your inquiry soon.