The sexual abuse of a child is a nightmare scenario for any parent. If your child has become a victim to abuse, you may be wondering what your legal options are. Most people are aware that sexual abuse is considered a crime, meaning you can report the behavior to law enforcement as a crime. However, child sexual abuse is also considered a type of personal injury, meaning you can file a claim against the offender and it will proceed in the same way as any other personal injury case would.
Sexual abuse typically refers to any kind of illegal sexual contact or sex-related conduct between an adult and a child, or a young child and a significantly older child. So sexual abuse doesn’t have to involve physical methods of abuse — it could include enticement without any actual physical contact as well.
Keep in mind that, as in any legal situation, there is a statute of limitations for filing your lawsuit. The amount of time depends on the type of abuse in question, but usually falls between one and three years to file the lawsuit from the date of the injury (in this case, the incident of abuse).
However, the period for filing a lawsuit for child sexual abuse may be extended. For example, many victims of child sexual abuse repress the memories of their abuse and only remember them later in life. The law accounts for repressed memories like this through delayed discovery rules. This means that the statute of limitations will not run out of the victim repressed memory of the abuse or did not realize that the abuse led to later issues.
Child sexual abuse is a horrific crime, and offenders should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If you need to seek compensation through a civil lawsuit, work with the compassionate North Carolina personal injury lawyers at Lanier Law Group.