Sexual assault or molestation is one of the most painful and difficult experiences a person may endure. It can have a long-lasting impact on a survivor’s mental and physical health, therefore victims can and should sue their abusers to the extent allowed by law. Whether the abuse occurs just once or multiple times, you have the right to seek justice, and that’s what makes a sexual abuse injury attorney Norcross important.
Types of Sexual Assault
There are many types of sexual assault that you can be victimized by whether you are a man, woman, or child. Sexual assault refers to any type of sexual advance that occurs without the victim’s consent. This can also include times when the victim is unable to consent, including due to intoxication. Sexual abuse or assault includes rape and attempted rape, but it can also be as “simple” as inappropriate touching or kissing, as well as other forced sexual behaviors. Here are some examples of sexual assault:
- Forced sexual acts of any kind
- Groping or unwanted touching
- Any undesired and non-consensual penetration of the victim
- Sexual exploitation
Situations during which sexual assault or assault can occur include:
- Elderly patients in nursing homes who are abused by staff members
- Schools employees who prey on children
- Churches whose clergy commit abuse
In those situations, nursing homes, schools, and churches can be held legally responsible for the abuse, particularly when previous abuse has occurred. The organization may have failed to conduct background checks or maintain safe conditions, which resulted in sexual abuse. Sadly, there are cases where organizations recognize the abuse but fail to take any steps to correct the misconduct
Challenges for Sexual Abuse Victims Time Limits for Filing
All cases have time limits within which one must file a lawsuit, known as statutes of limitations. These are strict time limits that, once passed, can bar you from filing. Sexual abuse can be such a traumatic event that many victims repress the memory of injury, making it difficult to file a lawsuit on time. Several different time limits may impact the victim. These limits depend on various factors, such as:
- Age of the victim when he or she was allegedly abused
- Whether the victim was conscious during the act
- The time between when the victim discovers the link between the abuse and the damage he/she faces
Each case carries specific nuances as to the time limit to file. Other factors can also be considered, such as whether a government employee or entity is involved. In a case such as this, the victim has up to 180 days to file a Tort Claim Notice under state law and 270 days from the date of alleged abuse if the victim is a child.
There is also what’s known as “delayed discovery,” which allows a victim to pursue litigation within 3 years of the date that their memories of the abuse are discovered. An attorney Norcross with experience working within these time limits can give you the best chance for success.
Every state also has specific restrictions and exceptions to the statute of limitations for each type of lawsuit. In general, the statute of limitations for filing a claim of rape or another sexual abuse claim is 2 years after the date of the incident.