Sexual Abuse Victims
Victims who were sexually abused before they were eighteen years old have twelve years after turning eighteen to file a claim. In other words, if you were sexually assaulted as a minor in the State of Pennsylvania you may bring a lawsuit up until the time you are thirty years old. Section 5533 (b) (2) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes currently (2012) provides a Statute of Limitations of twelve years from the date the victim turns eighteen years old. A criminal prosecution is not a prerequisite to bringing a civil lawsuit.
Sadly, these types of crimes and civilly actionable betrayals usually take place at the hand of those most trusted. If you were (or your minor child was) sexually abused by a priest, rabbi, coach, teacher, psychologist, psychiatrist, co-worker while a minor, family member, or anyone else, they should be held to account for their actions for several reasons:
- First, speaking out (or having a sexual abuse victim’s attorney speak out for you) about sexual abuse is important since it can help stop the abuser from hurting others.
- Second, holding an abuser accountable can bring closure and clarity to a victim.
- Third, the abuser should suffer with shame, not you.