CHICAGO, IL – A major issue with sexual abuse claims is the statute of limitations, or the legal amount of time you’re allowed to file a lawsuit. In many states, it prevents victims from coming forward unless they do within the time limit set by the state. Many victims of sexual abuse are unable to talk about abuse. Furthermore, they may not remember the abuse until the repressed memories play out in different aspects of life.
The statute of limitations on sexual abuse lawsuits creates a situation that is unfair and harsh to those who have already endured enough. Many states are now changing their laws to allow victims much more time to file sexual abuse lawsuits.
How Illinois has Addressed Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
In January 2020, prosecutors in Illinois no longer faced a time limit on bringing charges for major sex offenses, regardless of the alleged victim’s age.
The new law removed the statute of limitations on criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Previously, prosecutors had 10 years to bring charges if an offense was reported to law enforcement within three years after occurring.
For a state-by-state guide on the statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits, please click here.
Other States Addressing Statute of Limitations Issues
By the end of 2019, there were 15 states that took some form of action towards victim advocacy and getting them a greater right to sue their offenders.
Victims of sexual assault can sue their abuser, but also the organization that employed or gave the means to the abuser to commit their crime. For example, if a victim happened to be at a bar and was sexually assaulted in a back alley, the victim could hold the establishment accountable.
Financial Impact on Organizations
For many organizations, changes in the law mean that they can face a grave financial crisis from the potential of liability. For example, the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church have a long history of sexual abuse. The new law means that they can be held liable for abuse that happened decades ago. Many organizations have been forced to declare bankruptcy in order to manage some of their liability while continuing to operate.
Reporting Sexual Abuse in Illinois
Any victim of sexual abuse should report this to local authorities, a healthcare provider, trusted social worker, or someone in authority. By law, they are required to act on claims of sexual abuse. Contact the experienced sexual abuse lawyers at Dinizulu Law Group today for a free consultation at (312) 384-1920.