Is It Too Late to Take Legal Action for the Sexual Abuse That Happened to Me as a Child?

Laws in many states across the country have changed and empowered survivors to use the civil and criminal courts to expose abuse and cover-up. But even if you don’t have legal rights, there are things that you can do to stop the cycle of child sexual abuse and regain your power.

Can You Report Sexual Abuse Years Later? What if I Have No Proof? Should I Report Historical Abuse?

Many people ask if you can report physical abuse years later. Especially if they think it may be hard to find proof of the crime.

Predators are very cunning and do everything to ensure that their victims don’t have “evidence,” to substantiate what happened.

Other times, out of fear or shame, survivors will get rid of photos, gifts, letters, and other items from the predator.

It does not matter how long ago you were abused. It is never too late to come forward with your story, take power back, and help protect kids in the future.

Helping identify the strength of a legal case is one of the most important reasons you want an experienced sexual abuse attorney to walk you through it. Contact us for a free confidential consultation with an experienced child sexual abuse attorney.

My Perpetrator is Dead. Does it Matter if I Speak Out?

Yes, it does matter and it is important for survivors like you to come forward, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

Civil laws regarding child sexual abuse do more than hold the perpetrator accountable for the crimes they committed.

Civil laws also hold the people who knew or should have known about your abuse accountable. It is not uncommon for authority figures to conceal what they know about institutional child sexual abuse. The unfortunate attempt to hide sexual abuse from the public supports the predator and puts more kids at risk.

Even if your perpetrator is dead, our team of child sex abuse lawyers may bring legal action against the institution that hid the crimes associated with child abuse cover-up and looked the other way.

When you come forward and talk about your abuse, you can help stop the cycle of abuse in the churches, schools, or other institutions that may still be putting innocent children at risk today.

When you find the courage to speak out, even if you do so anonymously, you may help empower other survivors of the same perpetrator who believe they are the “only one.”

My Experience With Sexual Abuse Took Place a Long Time Ago. Is My Memory Just Playing Tricks on Me?

Most likely, your memory is not playing tricks on you.

The latest studies in brain science show us that when children are sexually abused, the trauma of the abuse can cause damage to the child’s brain development.

As a result, memories may trickle in, or you may have some flaws in your recollection regarding the sexual abuse you endured as a child. You may remember smells, locations, conversations, or the shame that you experienced when you were sexually abused.

Seeing a qualified therapist can help you make sense of what your body and memories are telling you.

Often, child predators have many victims. The more people come forward and share their experiences, the more we know about patterns of perpetrators and the institutions that enabled and covered up their actions.

To explore the legal dimension of this question, contact us for a free confidential consultation

Are There Child Sexual Abuse Legal or Bankruptcy Deadlines for my State?

The civil and criminal laws regarding child sexual abuse vary state by state.

We suggest you look up the laws or consult an attorney licensed in your state as soon as possible.

Many states have pending civil and bankruptcy deadlines that could affect you. Visit our Resources by State page for more information.

Also, explore options in the state where the abuse occurred. For example, the California Child Victims Act makes it possible to file a claim for abuses that occurred within that state, even if you are living somewhere else today.

If you were sexually abused by a priest, counselor, teacher, coach, or other trusted adult, you still have rights. We want to help you. Contact us confidentially at 1-800-ITS-TIME.

I No Longer Live in The State Where the Abuse Took Place. Is it Too Late for Me to Come Forward?

It does not matter what state you live in now—or even if you live in another country. Oftentimes, your legal rights may be based on where the child sexual abuse TOOK PLACE. You can look up the laws in our Resources by State section of our website or consult an attorney licensed in the state in which your abuse occurred.

Do I Have to File a Lawsuit to do Something About my Abuse?

No, you do not have to take legal action. There are many things that you can do to address your abuse and find healing.

If you believe that the person who abused you is still hurting children, we strongly suggest you report to the police. You don’t have to do that alone, and a trusted friend or therapist can help you through the process.

Talking to a good therapist or experienced child sex abuse attorney can help you assess your options.

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