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SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUITS

CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

Levy Konigsberg is a sexual abuse litigation firm with a nationwide reputation and presence. We have offices in several states beyond New York, and we can assist with a sexual abuse lawsuit anywhere, including:

 

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Contact us today at (800) 315-3806 or email to discuss your case with our experienced legal team.

We specialize in sexual abuse lawsuits against powerful institutions, including prisons, clergy, and juvenile detention centers.


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Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Nationwide

Below is a short overview of the Statute of Limitations by state:

Arizona Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time you have to start a legal case after something wrong or illegal has happened. Under current law, survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Arizona have until age 30 to file civil lawsuits.

Arkansas Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

Legal Update: A temporary lookback window established under the Arkansas Justice for Vulnerable Victims of Sexual Abuse Act remains open until January 31, 2024.

Arkansas SB 676 Gives Child Sex Abuse Survivors A New Opportunity To File Claims

The Justice for Vulnerable Victims of Sexual Abuse Act, Senate Bill 676, is a legislative measure that was passed by the Arkansas Senate in April 2021. Like a wave of survivor-focused laws being passed in states like New York and California, the law is designed to provide legal protections and benefits for individuals who have been victims of sexual abuse, particularly those who were minors (under 18) or disabled and therefore unable to give consent at the time of the abuse.

Arkansas’ Justice for Vulnerable Victims of Sexual Abuse Act is groundbreaking legislation that accounts for the immense challenges survivors of childhood sexual abuse face when it comes to processing their abuse and making the decision to pursue legal action against abusers and the entities that failed to protect them.

The key provisions of the Act include: extended statute of limitations and a two-year revival window.

Extended Statute of Limitations

Under the previous Arkansas laws, victims of childhood sexual abuse were constrained by a deadline. They had until either their 21st birthday or three years from the realization that emotional or physical injury resulted from the abuse to initiate legal action.

The recent legislation extends the age limit from 21 to 55. Now, under SB676, individuals who were 21 years old as of July 31, 2021, as well as future victims of abuse, are granted the opportunity to bring legal action against an abuser until they reach 55 years old or three years from the time of discovery, depending on which date comes later.

Two-Year Revival Window

This means that childhood sexual abuse survivors abused at any time in the past can initiate a civil claim during the specified two-year revival window. This window commenced on February 1, 2022, and concludes on January 31, 2024. Within this timeframe, any adult survivor has the option to pursue legal action against the perpetrator or the institution responsible, even if their claim had expired under the previous state laws.

An abuse survivor may have grounds to file a civil claim against the perpetrator, another involved party, or the organization that was complicit in the abuse or its concealment. Those who experienced abuse may not have initially realized the full extent of what they endured. It is not uncommon for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, upon initiating legal proceedings, to discover that they were not the sole victims. A significant number of sexual predators target multiple vulnerable victims. Engaging in legal action can unveil the scale of the abuse and how it was either hidden or disregarded by an institution.

Atlanta Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

Like other personal injury claims, sexual abuse lawsuits are subject to a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a law that sets a time limit for filing a lawsuit. If you do not file a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations, you will be barred from recovering compensation for your losses.

In Georgia, the statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits is as follows:

  • Adult survivors: Adult survivors of sexual abuse have two years from the date of the abuse to file a lawsuit.
  • Child survivors: Adults who were abused as children have until they turn 53 years of age to file a civil lawsuit.

It is important to note that the statute of limitations is a complex area of law, and there are many exceptions that may apply in your case. For this reason, it is important to consult with an experienced Atlanta sex abuse lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your claim is filed within the applicable statute of limitations.

California Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

Sexual abuse lawsuits, like other claims brought by plaintiffs who seek damages for injuries, are subject to a legal deadline known as the statute of limitations. When the statute of limitations expires, victims are not able to file claims or recover compensation.

Fortunately, California has recognized that the statute of limitations can act as a barrier to justice for sexual abuse survivors, whom research has shown can take years or decades to come to terms with their abuse and the damages it had caused. As such, California passed the Child Victims Act in 2019 to extend the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse lawsuits.

Under the CA Child Victims Act

  • Survivors sexually abused as minors can file claims until age 40 (22 years after turning 18);
  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse who are over 40 can file claims only if they discovered psychological injuries arising from their abuse within the past 5 years.

Some California youth detention centers house inmates who are over 18. If you were sexually abused in a juvenile detention facility when you were 18 or older, your claim may be subject to California’s statute of limitations requiring adult survivors to file within 10 years from the date of the assault/abuse, or within 3 years from the date they discovered injuries resulting from the assault/abuse.

Youth detention center inmates who were sexually abused as adults may also have additional options for bringing claims under the California Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act, a law passed in 2022 to create temporary filing windows for survivors who were sexually abused as adults years or decades ago. These two filing windows work as follows:

  • Survivors sexually abused as adults at any time in the past may file claims during a temporary one-year window that remains open until December 31, 2023, provided they can prove that an institution tried to cover up the abuse.
  • Survivors sexually abused as adults in 2009 or later may file claims during a four-year window that is open until December 31, 2026. There is no cover-up requirement for claims filed during this window.

Determining the statute of limitations that applies to your case against California youth residential facility or juvenile detention center can be challenging, which is why it is best to bring your matter to the attention of an experienced lawyer.

Colorado Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

Colorado continues to face a long-standing battle over legislation that would provide all survivors of child sexual abuse with the opportunity to seek justice and compensation for their losses.

The latest developments in this battle began in 2021 when the state legislature passed the Colorado Child Sexual Abuse Accountability Act (CSAAA). This groundbreaking law, which better reflected the fact that childhood sexual abuse survivors take years to process their abuse and seek justice, was intended to expand the rights of survivors, especially those who were abused decades ago.

Notably, when it went into effect on January 1, 2022, the Act created a civil cause of action for sexual misconduct perpetrated against a minor, allowed survivors to sue organizations that failed to stop abuse when they knew or should have known about it, allowed survivors to bring claims against government entities that operate youth programs (such as the Colorado DYS), and created a 3-year lookback window for survivors to bring claims over abuse dating back as far as the 1960s.

Unfortunately, in June 2023, the Colorado Supreme Court overturned the Act, stating that it violated the state’s prohibition on retrospective legislation.

While the Court’s ruling was a blow to countless child sexual abuse survivors whose claims are once against barred by the statute of limitations, some key protections remain under Colorado law. For example, under current Colorado law:

  • There is no statute of limitations for civil sexual misconduct claims involving child sexual abuse that occurred on or after January 1, 2022.
  • Child sexual abuse survivors whose abuse occurred on or after January 1, 2016 may still bring civil claims.

LEGAL UPDATE: In response to the Colorado Supreme Court striking down the Child Sexual Abuse Accountability Act, state lawmakers are currently considering an amendment that would amend the Colorado Constitution to allow the passage of retroactive laws relating to child sex abuse.

If this constitutional amendment is passed, it would pave the way for renewal of the Child Sex Abuse Accountability Act or a similar law. Such a law would, for example:

  • Create a temporary lookback window for survivors to file claims regarding abuse that occurred at any time in the past.
  • Remove immunity protections for government agencies, allowing survivors to sue and hold government institutions accountable when the agency or its employees knew or should have known about abuse, but failed to prevent it.

Connecticut Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

In recent years, Connecticut lawmakers have implemented a series of legislative revisions that greatly expand the rights of sexual abuse survivors – including survivors who were sexually abused as minors.

Under the state’s newly revised laws, the statute of limitations – or legal deadline – for survivors to file sexual abuse lawsuits will depend on specific factors, including the age of the victim and, in some cases, whether the offender was convicted. For example:

  • Claims involving convicted abusers. Thanks to an amendment made effective in 2022, Connecticut has no statute of limitations for civil actions brought against alleged abusers who have been convicted of 1st degree sexual assault or 1st degree aggravated sexual assault. (Connecticut General Statutes Chapter 926 § 52-577e).
  • Abuse claims involving victims under 21. In Connecticut, victims who were sexually abused under 21 years of age can file civil claims within 30 years (or until the age of 51) to file civil lawsuits from the date they turn 21, if the abuse occurred on or after October 1, 2019. For claims based on child sexual abuse that occurred before October 1, 2019, survivors have until the age of 48 to file suit. (Connecticut General Statutes Chapter 926 § 52-577d).

Delaware Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

The Delaware Child Victims Act provides additional support and no statute of limitations for civil cases related to childhood sexual abuse for anyone born after July 9, 1987. This means that if you were born after this date you are able to report and file a civil case at any time, no matter when your abuse occurred.

For those who were born before July 9, 1987, there are specific situations that may increase your time for filing a civil lawsuit. 

Florida Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

The amount of time that a victim of childhood sexual abuse in Florida has to file a lawsuit depends on the facts and circumstances of the particular case. We recommend that you reach out to us if you have questions about the statute of limitations in your case.  For those who were sexually abused in privately-operated Florida juvenile residential facilities when they were under age 16, and were born after July 1, 1988, there should be no statute of limitations that applies. So, in most cases, this means that a person who experienced sexual assault when under age 16 is permitted to file a civil lawsuit at any time so long as they were born after July 1, 1988 (i.e. the person did not turn age 22 as of July 1, 2010).

Illinois Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

Sexual abuse lawsuits, like other claims brought by plaintiffs who seek damages for injuries, are subject to a legal deadline known as the statute of limitations. When the statute of limitations expires, victims will not be able to file a claim or recover compensation.

Determining the statute of limitations in your claim can be challenging, as there are many factors to consider. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse claims brought by victims who were abused as minors is generally as follows:

  • Claims brought by survivors of childhood sexual abuse (abuse that occurred when the victim was under 18 years of age) may be commenced at any time for victims who were born on or after June 24, 1983.

If you were sexually abused while housed at an Illinois youth residential treatment facility or juvenile detention center, the best way to evaluate the statute of limitations in your case is to have it personally reviewed by a lawyer. At Levy Konigsberg, our attorneys have extensive experience litigating sexual abuse cases on behalf of youth and adult inmates and can help you take the next step toward justice.

Kansas Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

Years of research have confirmed that survivors face many challenges when it comes to processing the effects of sexual abuse and coming forward to report it – especially if they were abused as minors.

As a result, great strides have been made in Kansas to educate lawmakers about these challenges and how they conflict directly with statutes of limitations that require survivors to file civil lawsuits within a short period of time. The result has been mostly positive, with the Kansas Legislature passing a long-anticipated law to bolster the rights of survivors.

The law (HB 2127), took effect in July 2023 and brought about the following changes:

  • Extended civil statute of limitations. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse now have until the age of 31 (13 years after they turn 18) to bring sexual abuse claims against abusers and/or responsible entities. State law previously required child sex abuse survivors to bring claims within 3 years of turning 18.
  • Temporary lookback period following criminal convictions. In addition to extending the civil SOL by 10 years, the law also eliminated the criminal statute of limitations for child sex abuse charges and created a three-year lookback period in cases where abusers are convicted in criminal court. This means that when an abuser is convicted of a criminal charge involving child sexual abuse, survivors will have three years during which they can pursue civil legal action – no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

While these are significant changes that expand the rights of survivors, many argue they still fall short.

As the data tells us, sexual abuse survivors often take decades to process their abuse, connect their trauma to the harm they’ve suffered, and make the difficult decision to step forward and seek justice. According to several studies, the average age that child sexual abuse victims take these steps is 52.

This being the case, there is still widespread support for Kansas to eliminate the child sexual abuse SOL entirely and give survivors an unlimited amount of time to file. Additionally, advocates are still pushing for lawmakers to create a window during which survivors with previously time-barred claims could file lawsuits – a feature that was in initial versions of HB 2127 before it was dropped in the final bill.

Louisiana Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a legal time limit for starting legal proceedings after an alleged offense. In Louisiana, victims of child sex abuse could previously only file claims against their abusers and those who enabled the abuse before they turned 28 years old.

In 2021, Louisiana lawmakers passed a “lookback window” bill allowing abuse survivors to file civil lawsuits against their abusers regardless of when the abuse occurred, within three years (ending June 2024). Recently, they extended this period until June 14, 2027.

Maine Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

Thanks to several legislative amendments, survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Maine have considerable protections when it comes to filing civil claims for compensation against abusers and responsible institutions. This includes:

  • A 2000 law that indefinitely extended the state’s statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse, giving those who were abused as minors an unlimited amount of time to file civil lawsuits.
  • A 2021 law that retroactively lifted the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits based on childhood sexual abuse, giving survivors with previously barred claims the right to file lawsuits.

Maine’s current laws regarding for child sexual abuse lawsuits are among the most expansive in the nation but were once criticized for falling short. That’s because prior to the latest amendment, Maine’s unlimited filing window for child sex abuse lawsuits did not apply to survivors with claims where the statute of limitations had already expired.

Fortunately, state lawmakers finally pushed to retroactively lift the statute of limitations on previously time-barred claims in 2021. Thanks to this significant move, survivors who were sexually abused as minors now have the right to file lawsuits against their abusers and the institutions that failed to protect them no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

Legal Update: Maine’s 2021 legal amendment has been challenged by entities that view civil sex abuse lawsuits as major financial and reputational threats. This includes the Maine Catholic Church, which has led legal challenges arguing that the new law is unconstitutional and that survivors should only be able to file claims against individuals (many of whom are no longer alive or lack the ability to sufficiently compensate victims) who committed the abuse.

Maryland Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

Maryland has been a frontrunner in passing legislation that greatly expands the rights of sexual abuse survivors – and especially survivors of child sexual abuse.

Thanks to the Child Victims Act, which was signed into law in April 2023 by Governor Wes Moore, survivors who were sexually abused as minors in Maryland now have unprecedented opportunities to pursue justice against their abusers and any institutions that failed to protect them.

Here are some key details about Child Victims Act of 2023:

  • The CVA eliminates the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits based on child sexual abuse, which means that there is no deadline by which survivors must initiate legal action.
  • The CVA creates an unlimited lookback period that allows child sexual abuse survivors to file lawsuits over abuse that occurred at any time in the past, even if such claims were barred by the previous statute of limitations.

The Child Victims Act went into effect on October 1, 2023, and prison and juvenile detention systems with long histories of child sexual abuse are seeing a growing number claims brought by survivors abused years and decades ago.

Massachusetts Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

In 2015, Massachusetts lawmakers passed groundbreaking legislation to greatly expand the rights of child sexual abuse survivors. Specifically, these legislative amendments gave survivors, whom research has shown can take years or decades to process their abuse and its resulting impact on their lives, far more time to file civil lawsuits than what was previously provided for under the law.

Under current Massachusetts law (Chapter 260 § 4C), survivors of child sexual abuse must file civil claims within 35 years of the final act of abuse or within 7 years of discovering that they suffered damages as a result of their abuse, whichever is later.

There are two important facts about the law and its application in child sexual abuse cases:

  • The statute of limitations can be “tolled” until child victims turn 18, which means that survivors have 35 years from the date they turn 18 to file civil claims.
  • The statute contains a “delayed discovery” provision allowing child victims to file claims within 7 years of discovering that they suffered damages due to their abuse. This means that victims may still be eligible to file civil lawsuits even if it has been more than 35 years since their abuse, provided they had not previously discovered the connection between their abuse and resulting damages, which may include addiction, anxiety, depression, and other emotional and psychological injuries.

Massachusetts’ current statute of limitations for child sexual abuse survivors provides far more time for survivors to take legal action than the previous law, but advocates and some lawmakers are still pushing to eliminate the statute of limitations entirely in child sexual abuse cases. There is currently a proposed bill (S.1038) that is making its way through the state Legislature that would do just that.

Michigan Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations & Pending Law

Michigan lawmakers are currently deliberating over a package of pending measures that would greatly expand the state’s laws regarding the amount of time child sexual abuse survivors have to file claims.

Under current Michigan law, victims who were sexually abused as minors have until the age of 28, or three years from the date they discover a link between their abuse and resulting damages, to file civil lawsuits for compensation.

The proposed bills, however, would significantly change the current statute of limitations and provide opportunities to survivors with older, time-barred claims. For example, the measures would:

  • Expand the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse lawsuits, allowing victims who were abused as minors to file claims until the age of 52. Currently, the law gives survivors of child sexual abuse until the age of 28, or within three years from the date they discover they were assaulted, to file claims.
  • Create a temporary 2-year lookback window for survivors to file claims over abuse that occurred at any time in the past.
  • Remove immunity protections for government agencies, allowing survivors to sue and hold government institutions accountable when the agency or its employees knew or should have known about abuse, but failed to prevent it.

These proposed revisions, which are gaining considerable support, better reflect accepted research about the difficulties survivors face when processing abuse and how victims who were sexually abused as minors often take years or decades to discover the connection between their traumas and resulting damages, which can include addiction, self-harm, and other mental health issues. They also allow survivors to hold entities like hospitals, county-operated jails, and the Michigan Department of Corrections accountable for their failures.

At Levy Konigsberg, our sexual abuse team is closely tracking these proposed measures in Michigan youth residential facilities and juvenile detention centers and is available to help survivors abused in youth residential treatment and juvenile detention facilities evaluate their options for filing claims both now under the current statute of limitations and under any revised laws in the future.

Missouri Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

As in other states, Missouri has seen growing momentum to change the statute of limitations in civil sexual abuse cases. That’s because research resoundingly agrees that survivors of sexual abuse often take decades to process their abuse and its impact on their lives. According to Child USA, a nonprofit think tank, the average age that victims report childhood sexual abuse is 52.

Recognizing the challenges survivors face in processing abuse, and how short statutes of limitations function as a barrier to justice more often than not, Missouri lawmakers have proposed a measure to give survivors greater opportunities to seek justice.

If passed, the pending law would:

  • Extend the civil statute of limitations for child victims to age 55.
  • Create a temporary two-year window for child sexual abuse survivors to file claims over abuse that occurred at any time in the past.

Nevada Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

In 2021, Nevada passed the historic SB203, which eliminated the statute of limitations for claims against a perpetrator of sexual abuse and extended the statute of limitations up to age 38 for claims against certain third parties other than the perpetrator. 

Thus, under current Nevada law, survivors of childhood sexual abuse may bring their claims against a person or organization who facilitated that abuse until they are age 38.

New Hampshire Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

In recent years, New Hampshire lawmakers have passed groundbreaking legislation to expand the rights of sexual abuse survivors.

This includes the Crime Victims’ Right Enhancement Act of 2020, which eliminated the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits arising from sexual abuse and assault involving victims of all ages.

This law means that survivors who were sexually abused at the Youth Development Center and other juvenile detention facilities in New Hampshire can file civil lawsuits over abuse that occurred at any time in the past and may file lawsuits even if their claims were barred under the previous law.

New York Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

New York has been a frontrunner in passing legislation that makes it easier for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to step forward and seek the compensation they deserve.

These laws are based on accepted research that show survivors can take years or decades to process their abuse and understand its connection to lasting consequences they’ve suffered as a result, such as addiction, incarceration as adults, relationship issues, and other mental health problems. They are also intended to rectify some of the legal barriers (such as short statutes of limitations) which have historically prevented survivors from being able to pursue justice in the civil legal system.

Today, victims who were sexually abused as minors in secure, specialized secure, and non-secure youth residential facilities across New York may have options to file civil claims and obtain justice. For example:

  • New York State Civil Statute of Limitations. In 2019, lawmakers passed the New York Child Victims Act, a landmark law that extended the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases from 21 to 55. This means that under current New York law, survivors who were sexually abused when they were under the age of 18 have until age 55 to sue the parties responsible for their abuse. This includes entities such as the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, municipalities, and private corporations that operate juvenile detention facilities.
  • NYC Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law. The Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law (GMVPL) allows victims of sexual assaults that occurred in NYC to file civil lawsuits against abusers and responsible institutions. A recent amendment of the law also created a temporary two-year window for survivors to file claims over abuse that occurred at any time in the past. This window opened on March 1, 2023 and will close on March 1, 2025.

The New York Child Victims Act

New York is now at the forefront of progressive legislation targeting childhood sexual abuse with the passage of the New York Child Victims Act (CVA). The law extends the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits for sexual abuse. By extending the time period for victims to recover for injuries wrought by sexual abuse, the CVA allows survivors to seek justice and compensation when they are prepared and able to tell their stories. Under the CVA, the statute of limitations for filing criminal charges for sexual abuse is 28 years old and the statute of limitations for filing civil claims for sexual abuse is 55 years old. In addition, anyone under the age of 18 who was abused and precluded from filing a claim has a one-year window to file charges regardless of age.

New Jersey Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

Sexual abuse lawsuits, like other claims brought by plaintiffs who seek damages for injuries, are subject to a legal deadline known as the statute of limitations. When the statute of limitations expires, victims are not able to file claims or recover compensation.

Fortunately, state lawmakers in New Jersey have recognized that the statute of limitations can create a profound barrier to justice for sexual abuse survivors, whom research has shown can take years or decades to comes to terms with their abuse and the damage it has caused in their lives. As such, New Jersey passed groundbreaking legislation in 2019 to greatly expand the statute of limitations in civil sexual abuse cases and provide survivors with more opportunities to file claims against abusers and any institutions that failed to protect them.

Under New Jersey’s current laws, the statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse claims are generally as follows:

  • Survivors of childhood sexual abuse (abuse that occurred when the victim was under 18 years of age) have until the age of 55 to file civil claims against their abusers and any responsible institutions.
  • Survivors who were sexually abused as adults (age 18 or older) must file civil lawsuits within seven years of the last act of sexual abuse.

New Jersey Laws for Victims of Sexual Abuse

A new law in New Jersey has been passed to enable victims of sexual abuse to pursue civil lawsuits against their perpetrators for crimes committed years earlier. The legislation gives survivors the opportunity to seek compensation for the abuse they suffered even if the statute of limitations has expired. Under the law, victims who were previously barred by the statute of limitations may now file lawsuits for damages against their abusers and the institutions that concealed the abuse for two years. Victims who do not file actions within the “two-year window” may sue their perpetrators until they turn 55 years of age or within seven years of recognizing that they were injured by sexual abuse. In addition, the New Jersey Independent Victim Compensation (IVC) program was established by New Jersey’s five Catholic dioceses to compensate victims for sexual abuse that occurred in Catholic churches and Catholic schools decades ago.

Oregon Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

Under current law, survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Oregon have until their 40th birthday, or five years from the date they discover that their damages (which can include addiction, self-harm, and other mental health issues) are connected to their abuse, to file civil lawsuits.

Pennsylvania Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations & Pending Law

In the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system, the current statute of limitations for civil sex abuse claims is the age of adulthood plus 37 years, which means that survivors sexually abused as minors typically have until the age of 55 to file legal action, as long as they were born after November 26, 1989.

As in other states across the country, Pennsylvania’s current statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse claims has been criticized for barring numerous survivors from seeking justice and compensation for their damages and for failing to recognize accepted research about the considerable difficulties survivors face when processing their abuse and taking steps to come forward. Thanks to new efforts by advocates and lawmakers, however, there are now several pending measures before the Pennsylvania Legislature that seek to expand the rights of child sex abuse survivors.

These groundbreaking measures, which are expected to pass, will create new opportunities for survivors to step forward and obtain long-overdue justice. If passed, these measures would create a temporary two-year window for child sexual abuse survivors to file claims over abuse that occurred at any time in the past.

Levy Konigsberg is closely tracking the proposed sexual abuse measures in Pennsylvania youth residential treatment facilities and juvenile detention centers and is actively working with survivors looking for information about filing claims under the new extended statute of limitations or two-year lookback window, should these measures become law.

Texas Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

In Texas, the current statute of limitations for civil sex abuse claims depends on when a survivor was born. For those who were born after September 1, 1997, the statute of limitations is the age of adulthood plus 15 years, which means that survivors of sexual abuse as minors will have until the age of 33.

Legislation is currently pending in Texas that would eliminate the statute of limitations and revive expired claims for abuse that occurred at any time in the past.

Vermont Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

In 2019, Vermont lawmakers passed H. 330, an historic measure that completely removed the time limits for child sexual abuse survivors to file civil lawsuits.

Hailed as one of the strongest statute of limitations reforms for victims in the country, Vermont’s law was intended to account for the fact that sexual abuse survivors abused as minors often take decades to process their abuse and the effects abuse has had on their lives, and that most do not step forward with their claims under the average age of 52.

Under Vermont’s sexual abuse law:

  • There is no statute of limitations for civil actions based on childhood sexual abuse, which means survivors can file lawsuits no matter how much time has elapsed since they were abused.
  • The statute of limitations elimination is fully retroactive, which means that child sex abuse survivors can file lawsuits over abuse that occurred at any time in the past, including claims that were previously time-barred.
  • The law allows victims to sue institutions, organizations, or companies that permitted or perpetuated child sexual abuse.

Washington Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

Under current Washington state law, survivors of sexual abuse have three years from the date of their abuse, or three years from the date they discover the connection between their injuries (which can include addiction, self-harm, and other mental health issues) and the abuse (or a defendant’s actions that led to the abuse), to file civil lawsuits.

In March 2024, the governor signed into law a bill (House Bill 1618) removing the statute of limitations for civil claims related to child sexual abuse. As a result, for any sexual abuse occurring on or after June 6, 2024, there is no deadline to file.

However, the new law is not retroactive, meaning that it does not apply to sexual abuse that occurred before June 6, 2024. Survivors of sexual abuse that occurred before this time still have three years from the date of their abuse, or three years from the date they discover the connection between their injuries and the abuse or actions that led to the abuse, to file civil lawsuits. 

West Virginia Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations

Sexual abuse lawsuits, like other claims brought by plaintiffs who seek damages for injuries, are subject to a legal deadline known as the statute of limitations. When the statute of limitations expires, victims will not be able to file a claim or recover compensation.

Determining the statute of limitations in your claim can be challenging, as there are many factors to consider. In West Virginia, claims brought by survivors of childhood sexual abuse (abuse that occurred when the victim was under 18 years of age) generally must be commenced before the survivor reaches age 36.

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Levy Konigsberg LLP, a nationally recognized law firm, has built a legacy over three decades, recovering over $3 billion in sexual abuse compensation for clients. Led by award-winning sexual abuse lawyers, we specialize in representing survivors in sexual abuse across the country, taking on powerful institutions. Our top-rated trial practice handles all types of sexual abuse or negligence cases, showcasing numerous testimonials and successful case results. You can learn more about our latest sexual abuse work on our blog.

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