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Can I still sue my childhood abuser?

On Behalf of | Nov 26, 2021 | Childhood Sex Abuse |

There are no words to describe how traumatic and unfair childhood sexual abuse is. If you experienced sexual abuse as a child, you must know that you may still be able to hold your abuser responsible in criminal and civil court. By filing a lawsuit in civil court, you can make them pay for what they did and compensate you for all the pain they caused you.

You may still be on time

In the past, sexual abuse victims could only bring a legal claim against an abuser until they turned 20 years old or two years after discovering the abuse. Things are different now. In 2019, the state of New Jersey extended the time limit victims have to file a legal claim. Now, you have the power to hold your abuser liable until you turn 55 years old or seven years after you discovered the abuse.

Why the law changed

Childhood sexual abuse is a highly traumatic experience; so damaging that victims often suppress their memories to cope with it. Because of this, the courts in New Jersey extended the time victims have to file a legal action. The new law gives victims the chance to remember the abuse and more time to process what they have been through.  This way, victims can file until they feel ready to do so, but not after the legal deadline.

Fighting back

You cannot send your abuser to prison by filing a claim against them with the civil court. However, you can hold them responsible and make them pay for all the suffering they caused you. You can also take your case to criminal court or both courts at the same time. No matter if the abuse happened years ago, you deserve to pursue justice through the court system.