Tacoma Child Sex Abuse Lawyer
Sexual abuse is traumatic no matter the age of the victim. But the trauma of child sexual abuse is often repressed well into adulthood. It is not uncommon for survivors of such abuse to come forward years or decades after the original acts of molestation occurred. And even when years have passed, these now-adult victims continue to struggle with the psychological and physical aftermath of what happened to them as children.
Under Washington law, child sexual abuse survivors can take civil legal action against their attackers even years or decades after the fact. An experienced Tacoma child sex abuse lawyer can provide you with specific guidance and advice on this subject. Emerald Law Group represents survivors who have suffered from child sex abuse and are looking to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions.
How Long Do You Have to File a Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit in Washington?
A common issue in child sex abuse cases is the length of time that passes between the original acts and a survivor’s ability to come forward. As previously noted, child victims often deal with the trauma by repressing the memory of the actual sexual abuse. Only years into adulthood are they triggered into remembering what really happened.
Civil lawsuits are typically subject to a statutory filing deadline known as the statute of limitations. In Washington, the statute of limitations for claims based on child sexual abuse is the latter of the following:
- 3 years from the date of the act of alleged abuse;
- 3 years from the date when the victim discovered–or reasonably should have discovered–the injury arising from the alleged act of abuse; or
- 3 years from the time the victim discovered the alleged abuse.
Basically, if the memory was repressed for several years, the three-year clock will not start to run until the person actually recovers their memory of the event. In addition, the statute of limitation is tolled while a child sex abuse victim is still a minor. So the clock is basically stopped until the survivor turns 18.
Contact Emerald Law Group Today
Child sex abuse cases are often not limited to the individual attacker. We are all familiar with the recent scandals involving large institutions like the Roman Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America, which play a key role in facilitating and covering up such abuse. There have been a number of landmark cases where these organizations and similar groups have agreed to pay multi-million dollar settlements to address sexual abuse cases dating back as far as the 1960s. So it is never too late to seek justice for your own childhood sexual abuse.
Despite the flexibility of Washington’s statute of limitations, however, these cases can still be quite difficult to pursue. That is why it is essential that you work with a qualified Tacoma child sex abuse lawyer who can fully investigate your case and advise you of your legal options. Contact Emerald Law Group today to schedule a free confidential consultation.