Certain events that occur to children shape their entire lives. These could be good events or bad events that have a significant impact on their young, developing minds that cause them to see the world a certain way. This view of the world can carry on with them as they become adults and affect many of the choices that they make when they are adults as well.
One of the most damaging such experiences is sexual abuse. Depending on the age the abuse occurred, it can take many years into adulthood to even realize how the abuse is affecting the way they think and the choices they make. It can also take time to realize that the abusers need to be held accountable.
Knowing this fact, California recently changed its law to allow victims of child sexual abuse more time to file lawsuits against the perpetrators of the abuse.
2019 change to statute of limitations
Under the old law, victims had to begin their lawsuits by the time they reached age 26 or within three years after realizing the psychological damage caused by the sexual abuse. In 2019, the law changed to allow people until they turned 40 years old, or 5 years after they realize the psychological effects caused by the abuse to file child sexual abuse claims.
In addition to allowing people to file claims against the individuals responsible, people can also file lawsuits against institutions that had a duty to protect children and failed to do so. They can also seek additional damages against people or institutions which covered up the evidence of child sexual abuse.
It is very unfortunate, but there are many victims of childhood sexual abuse in California. There are also many reasons why children do not report it right away, or do not realize the damaging effects of the abuse until years later.
The new law is an important change that recognizes these facts and provides more victims of abuse a way to hold their abusers accountable for their actions. These are complicated matters and consulting with experienced attorneys could be important.