What is the statute of limitations for a child sexual abuse claim?
Statutes of limitations block a victim from taking legal action against a perpetrator if too much time has elapsed between when the crime occurred and when the victim attempts to take criminal or civil action. There is good reason for this, because witnesses’ memories can fade or become clouded over time.
However, when a victim’s own memory of the incident doesn’t surface until years later, justice should still be served. This often occurs in child sexual abuse cases, as memory repression can occur or the child might not want to discuss what happened until years later. The state of Florida has one of the best civil statutes of limitations regarding child sexual abuse.
On May 11, 2012, legislators changed the laws in Florida to allow child sex abuse victims to file suits against their abusers without any time limits blocking them from doing so. When Florida House Bill 525 was signed into law, it eliminated the statute of limitations for both civil and criminal claims relating to cases of child sexual abuse for children who were abused when they were younger than 16.
The new law will allow individuals who were abused when they were younger than 16 to file suit against their abuser, even if the old statute of limitations barred them from doing so. Children can now hold their sexual abusers accountable—even if they have repressed their memories of the abuse for some time.
For help filing a Florida child abuse claim, call the Mallard Law Firm today at (888) 409-3805 and talk with an experienced Sarasota child abuse lawyer in a free consultation today.