Can You Report Sexual Abuse That Happened Years Ago?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2019 | Sexual Abuse |

One of the biggest challenges for sex abuse victims is coming forward and reporting the abuse. There are many reasons why people keep silent about sexual abuse they have experienced.

When people wait, it often gets only more difficult with the passage of time. It can be more difficult to make an accusation years after the crime. Memories get fuzzy, victims can even start to wonder whether there really was a crime committed, and most people don’t know the statutes of limitations. How long after a crime is committed can you still bring a claim? Is it too late?

Can You Still Bring A Claim?

If you have experienced sexual abuse when you are a child, and you are looking to bring a claim in New York, recent law makes this path much more accessible.

New York passed the New York Child Victims Act on January 28, 2019. With the passing of this act, you can press charges in the criminal court system until you are 28 years old. In terms of civil claims, you can bring a claim up to age 55.

Further, the law opens a one-year window that allows victims of any age to bring claims.

In short, before you are 55 you can bring a civil claim of sex abuse, and if you near 55 or older, you must bring your claim before the end of January, 2020.

It is important to note that claims take time to work up. Thus, if you are near the age of 55 or older and have a claim, you should talk with an attorney right away to not miss your chance. Even if you are not sure that what you experienced constitutes sexual abuse, you should talk to an attorney to make sure.

The New York Child Victims Act is a significant improvement in the law to protect survivors of child sex abuse. If you have been abused as a youth, you might still have a claim.