On September 18th, 2022, a win in the fight against sexual predators who abuse children was signed into law by President Biden. The law eliminates the federal statute of limitations on certain federal civil claims for people who were sexually abused as minors.
The House passed the Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Act by voice vote after passing the Senate unanimously in March. The bill eliminates the statute of limitations that was applied to certain federal sex abuse crimes, including forced labor, sex trafficking, sexual abuse, and sexual exploitation of children.
Previously, children and minors who survived these abuses could only file federal claims until they turned 28 or up to a decade after the injury or violation was discovered.
Laws such as this are critically needed to protect our youth as nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults, including assaults on adults, happen to children ages 17 and under, and the average age that child sex abuse victims report the crime is 52 years old.
Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse Have Options
Under Ohio law, a child victim of sexual abuse can file a civil cause of action. Abusive sexual conduct against a minor includes sexual assault and sexual battery, as well as sexual imposition, which is sexual conduct that occurs under specific circumstances. Sexual imposition or behavior that occurs under specific circumstances is the basis for a civil claim when the offender is in a position of trust or authority, such as a parent, stepparent, guardian, or custodian. Also included are teachers, administrators, coaches, and other people employed by the school the child attends.
The offender does not need to be convicted or found guilty of a criminal offense to file a civil lawsuit. Victims can still file a civil lawsuit even when the offender is found not guilty or acquitted. Criminal cases require a higher burden of proof to convict the accused. To find the accused guilty, it must be “beyond a reasonable doubt” that they committed the crime based on the evidence presented. Meanwhile, a civil trial only requires that the accused is guilty of the action by a “preponderance of the evidence.” A civil case allows childhood victims of abuse recourse when they may not have the opportunity in criminal court.
Compensation for Sexual Abuse
Compensation will vary based on the circumstances of the childhood abuse. In a civil case, there are several types of damages that can be sought in a civil suit for childhood sexual abuse, including but not limited to:
- Psychological damage;
- Pain and suffering;
- Punitive damages;
- Medical and therapy costs;
- Damage to family relationships; and
- Lost wages
Our attorneys can give victims more information about the specific damages they could pursue in their specific circumstances.
Contact our Attorneys if You or a Loved One Suffered Sexual Abuse
If you or someone you know has been a victim of childhood sexual abuse, it is your right to pursue a claim against the offender. We understand that financial compensation cannot compensate for the mental and emotional trauma that childhood sexual abuse victims endure, but it can help you pay for treatment, family counseling, and any support you and your family need to start rebuilding your lives.
The attorneys at Charles Boyk Law Offices offer compassion, experience, and understanding. We know this is a complex process, and we will walk you through each step, so you know what to expect. Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation.