Coming to terms with a sexual abuse incident, and telling another person about it, could take a very long time for the victim. Years or even decades could go by, especially for those who were assaulted as children. Some victims try to put the experience behind them. Or, they may fear the possible reaction of others or believe the myth that their own behavior caused the assault. No matter the reason, each unique individual should have as much time as it takes to process what happened to them.
Currently, childhood sexual abuse survivors can file suit in California against their abusers until the age of 26. Victims who have reached adulthood have three years from the date they discovered (or should have discovered) that the psychological injury or illness they’ve suffered was caused by sexual assault. However, starting next year, California will extend its statute of limitations to give victims more time to come forward.
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law that gives victims of childhood sexual assault until the age of 40 to file suit against their attackers. Taking effect next year, the law also extends the discovery date from three years to five years. The bill provides a window of three years to revive past claims that expired due to the previous statute of limitations.
San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez drafted the bill earlier this year to help prevent childhood sexual abuse victims from running out of time to report their abuse and seek legal recourse. Instead of telling victims that their time is up, Gonzalez’s legislation helps them come forward and protect others from future abuse.
For California sex abuse survivors interested in coming forward after the new law goes into effect, the first step is to contact an experienced law firm. If you feel that you may have been a victim of sexual abuse or assault and are interested in exploring your options for seeking justice, our attorneys are always here to speak with you. CaseyGerry attorneys Meagan L. Verschueren and Jillian F. Hayes have a track record of success in representing sexual abuse survivors and will be happy to discuss your case.
At CaseyGerry, our conversations with you will be confidential. We will also ensure that necessary measures are taken to protect you as we seek justice. Feel free to contact our firm at (619) 238-1811 to find out how we can help you.
Note: If you or your loved one is in danger, get to safety immediately and call 9-1-1.