Seeking Justice With A Springfield MO Sexual Abuse Attorney

A Springfield MO sexual abuse attorney can help you, should you decide to pursue legal action against your abuser. There are a few options to consider with civil lawsuits. Civil suits aim to compensate the victim for damages from the abuse.

File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If the abuse caused physical or psychological harm, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. In a personal injury lawsuit, you can seek compensation for costs of medical care, therapy, and other expenses related to the abuse. You can also claim non-economic damages for pain and suffering. These cases typically have a statute of limitations, so consult with an attorney promptly.

Sue for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Where the abuse was extreme, outrageous, and caused severe emotional trauma, you may pursue a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. To win an IIED claim, you must show that the abuse was so extreme that it caused distress, and the abuser acted intentionally or recklessly. Damages can include compensation for therapy, medication costs, and pain and suffering.

  • Consult with a sexual abuse attorney to discuss the details of your case and determine the best legal strategy. They can advise you on the merits of different claims and likelihood of success.
  • Gather evidence to support your case like medical records, therapy notes, journals detailing the abuse, and statements from witnesses.
  • Be prepared for a potentially lengthy and emotionally taxing legal process. Lawsuits can take years to resolve. Discuss coping strategies with your attorney and therapist.
  • Seek the advice of an attorney for their professional opinion before filing a lawsuit. They can advise you on the merits of your case, likelihood of success, and potential compensation. Ultimately, justice comes in many forms and needs to be the right choice for your situation.

Call Monsees & Mayer today at (816) 361-5555 with any questions regarding your claim. We are here to help. 

Seeking Justice With A Springfield MO Sexual Abuse Attorney

A Springfield MO sexual abuse attorney can help you, should you decide to pursue legal action against your abuser. There are a few options to consider with civil lawsuits. Civil suits aim to compensate the victim for damages from the abuse.

File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If the abuse caused physical or psychological harm, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. In a personal injury lawsuit, you can seek compensation for costs of medical care, therapy, and other expenses related to the abuse. You can also claim non-economic damages for pain and suffering. These cases typically have a statute of limitations, so consult with an attorney promptly.

Sue for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Where the abuse was extreme, outrageous, and caused severe emotional trauma, you may pursue a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. To win an IIED claim, you must show that the abuse was so extreme that it caused distress, and the abuser acted intentionally or recklessly. Damages can include compensation for therapy, medication costs, and pain and suffering.

  • Consult with a sexual abuse attorney to discuss the details of your case and determine the best legal strategy. They can advise you on the merits of different claims and likelihood of success.
  • Gather evidence to support your case like medical records, therapy notes, journals detailing the abuse, and statements from witnesses.
  • Be prepared for a potentially lengthy and emotionally taxing legal process. Lawsuits can take years to resolve. Discuss coping strategies with your attorney and therapist.
  • Seek the advice of an attorney for their professional opinion before filing a lawsuit. They can advise you on the merits of your case, likelihood of success, and potential compensation. Ultimately, justice comes in many forms and needs to be the right choice for your situation.

Call Monsees & Mayer today at (816) 361-5555 with any questions regarding your claim. We are here to help. 

Client Testimonials

What Our Clients Say About Us

How Long You Have To File A Lawsuit With A Springfield MO Sexual Abuse Attorney

Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Cases Involving Minors

For civil claims of childhood sexual abuse, most states have amended or temporarily suspended the statute of limitations. This allows victims to pursue legal action against their abusers later in life.

  • Typically, it begins to run when the victim turns 18 years old or discovers the abuse.
  • Some states have extended or eliminated time limits for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit.
  • Some states have enacted “window legislation” which temporarily lifts the statute of limitations, allowing past victims a limited window of time to file a claim.
  • Most states recognize that victims of childhood sexual abuse may need decades to come forward due to trauma, shame, and fear.

Statute of Limitations for Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse

As an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit against your abuser. However, there are time limits for filing such claims. These limits vary significantly between states and depend on factors like:

  • Your age at the time of abuse: The time limit typically begins when a victim reaches the age of majority (18). Some states provide “delayed discovery” provisions allowing victims to file suit within a certain time period after discovering the abuse’s impact.
  • The nature of abuse: The time limit may differ for claims like negligence versus intentional acts. Some states have eliminated time limits for the most egregious acts like forcible rape.
  • Where the abuse occurred: The state where the abuse happened determines which law applies. It is also important to understand whether the abuse occurred in a home, at work, or at another location.

While time limits aim to prevent fraudulent claims, many advocates argue they unjustly protect abusers. Some states have reformed their laws by extending or eliminating limits. Our Springfield MO sexual abuse lawyers can help determine the time limits of your case.

How Long You Have To File A Lawsuit With A Springfield MO Sexual Abuse Attorney

Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Cases Involving Minors

For civil claims of childhood sexual abuse, most states have amended or temporarily suspended the statute of limitations. This allows victims to pursue legal action against their abusers later in life.

  • Typically, it begins to run when the victim turns 18 years old or discovers the abuse.
  • Some states have extended or eliminated time limits for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit.
  • Some states have enacted “window legislation” which temporarily lifts the statute of limitations, allowing past victims a limited window of time to file a claim.
  • Most states recognize that victims of childhood sexual abuse may need decades to come forward due to trauma, shame, and fear.

Statute of Limitations for Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse

As an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit against your abuser. However, there are time limits for filing such claims. These limits vary significantly between states and depend on factors like:

  • Your age at the time of abuse: The time limit typically begins when a victim reaches the age of majority (18). Some states provide “delayed discovery” provisions allowing victims to file suit within a certain time period after discovering the abuse’s impact.
  • The nature of abuse: The time limit may differ for claims like negligence versus intentional acts. Some states have eliminated time limits for the most egregious acts like forcible rape.
  • Where the abuse occurred: The state where the abuse happened determines which law applies. It is also important to understand whether the abuse occurred in a home, at work, or at another location.

While time limits aim to prevent fraudulent claims, many advocates argue they unjustly protect abusers. Some states have reformed their laws by extending or eliminating limits. Our Springfield MO sexual abuse lawyers can help determine the time limits of your case.

Our Springfield MO Sexual Abuse Attorneys Are Experienced

Our Springfield MO sexual abuse attorneys are experienced professionals who specialize in handling cases involving sexual abuse. With years of dedicated practice in this specific area of law, our team possesses the knowledge, skills, and sensitivity required to navigate the complexities of these cases effectively.

Monsees & Mayer Is Here To Help

At Monsees & Mayer, P.C., our Springfield MO sexual abuse attorneys masterfully and compassionately represent the survivors of sexual abuse. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping survivors in Missouri and Kansas, and we want to help you, too. If you or a loved one has been sexually abused, contact our attorneys today.

Monsees & Mayer Is Here To Help

At Monsees & Mayer, P.C., our Springfield MO sexual abuse attorneys masterfully and compassionately represent the survivors of sexual abuse. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping survivors in Missouri and Kansas, and we want to help you, too. If you or a loved one has been sexually abused, contact our lawyers today.

Our Involvement With Sexual Abuse Prevention Organizations

Our law firm is deeply committed to sexual abuse prevention and advocacy for survivors. We actively support and collaborate with organizations dedicated to raising awareness, implementing preventative measures, and supporting survivors of sexual abuse. We strive to contribute to a culture of safety, accountability, and support for survivors. Our team is dedicated to using our legal expertise to drive positive change and create a safer environment for all.

Evidence Our Springfield MO Sexual Abuse Attorneys Use To Help Win Your Case

Corroborating evidence refers to information that supports or confirms the claims made by an alleged victim of sexual abuse. This evidence helps establish that the abuse likely occurred. Some examples of corroborating evidence in these cases include:

  • Medical evidence: Examinations may reveal physical signs of abuse like bruising, lacerations or sexually transmitted infections. DNA or seminal fluid from the perpetrator can also be recovered.
  • Witness statements: Accounts from individuals who observed suspicious interactions, behavioral changes in the victim, or other relevant details can provide crucial corroboration. Teachers, counselors, relatives and friends may provide witness statements.
  • Behavioral or emotional changes: Drastic changes noticed by parents, teachers or doctors such as withdrawal, aggression, regression, anxiety or depression may corroborate allegations of abuse when the timing coincides with the reported incidents.
  • Consistency of statements: If the victim’s accounts of events remain consistent over multiple interviews, their statements are more credible and help validate claims of wrongdoing. Inconsistent or contradictory statements, on the other hand, undermine the strength of the evidence.
  • Circumstantial evidence: Things like love letters, gifts, photos or records of phone calls between the perpetrator and victim may provide context to support allegations of an inappropriate relationship, especially if the victim is a minor.

The more types of evidence that can be gathered to confirm the victim’s testimony, the stronger the case becomes against the accused perpetrator. Corroborating evidence is critical for securing convictions in sexual abuse cases. By understanding the different forms this evidence may take, investigators and prosecutors can build a comprehensive argument to present in court. Our Springfield MO sexual abuse lawyers leverage a comprehensive array of evidence to bolster your case and secure the compensation you deserve. You can trust that we will tirelessly fight for your rights and provide the compassionate support you need throughout the legal process.

Evidence Our Springfield MO Sexual Abuse Attorneys Use To Help Win Your Case

Corroborating evidence refers to information that supports or confirms the claims made by an alleged victim of sexual abuse. This evidence helps establish that the abuse likely occurred. Some examples of corroborating evidence in these cases include:

  • Medical evidence: Examinations may reveal physical signs of abuse like bruising, lacerations or sexually transmitted infections. DNA or seminal fluid from the perpetrator can also be recovered.
  • Witness statements: Accounts from individuals who observed suspicious interactions, behavioral changes in the victim, or other relevant details can provide crucial corroboration. Teachers, counselors, relatives and friends may provide witness statements.
  • Behavioral or emotional changes: Drastic changes noticed by parents, teachers or doctors such as withdrawal, aggression, regression, anxiety or depression may corroborate allegations of abuse when the timing coincides with the reported incidents.
  • Consistency of statements: If the victim’s accounts of events remain consistent over multiple interviews, their statements are more credible and help validate claims of wrongdoing. Inconsistent or contradictory statements, on the other hand, undermine the strength of the evidence.
  • Circumstantial evidence: Things like love letters, gifts, photos or records of phone calls between the perpetrator and victim may provide context to support allegations of an inappropriate relationship, especially if the victim is a minor.

The more types of evidence that can be gathered to confirm the victim’s testimony, the stronger the case becomes against the accused perpetrator. Corroborating evidence is critical for securing convictions in sexual abuse cases. By understanding the different forms this evidence may take, investigators and prosecutors can build a comprehensive argument to present in court. Our Springfield MO sexual abuse lawyers leverage a comprehensive array of evidence to bolster your case and secure the compensation you deserve. You can trust that we will tirelessly fight for your rights and provide the compassionate support you need throughout the legal process.

Free, Confidential Consultation

Our attorneys are here to help. Contact us today.

Our Springfield MO Sexual Abuse Attorneys Work With MOCSA

Our sexual abuse attorney, Reed Martens, discusses what a privilege it is to work with an amazing organization called, MOCSA.

MOCSA is a Kansas City-based group dedicated to improving the lives of those impacted by sexual abuse and assault and preventing sexual violence in our community. MOCSA provides countless resources and services to survivors and victims. Learn about their mission and how you can help.

Our Springfield MO Sexual Abuse Attorneys Work With MOCSA

Our sexual abuse attorney, Reed Martens, discusses what a privilege it is to work with an amazing organization called, MOCSA.

MOCSA is a Kansas City-based group dedicated to improving the lives of those impacted by sexual abuse and assault and preventing sexual violence in our community. MOCSA provides countless resources and services to survivors and victims. Learn about their mission and how you can help.

What Constitutes As Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse refers to any unwanted sexual act or behavior that violates a person’s consent or makes them feel uncomfortable. Acts of sexual abuse can include:

  • Unwanted kissing, touching, or fondling of sexual body parts.
  • Forcing someone to watch or engage in pornography.
  • Coercing someone into any sexual act through manipulation, threats or physical force.
  • Engaging in sexual activity with someone who is unable to consent due to age, intoxication, unconsciousness, or cognitive impairment.

Sexual abuse encompasses any unwanted sexual behavior that violates your consent and makes you feel uncomfortable. Several key factors determine whether an act constitutes sexual abuse:

  • Lack of consent
  • Coercion and force
  • Exploitation
  • Age Appropriateness

Sexual abuse can have devastating psychological and emotional impacts on victims that last long after the abuse has ended. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual abuse, seek help from local authorities, a medical professional, or call a free helpline. No one deserves to suffer in silence, and there are caring resources available 24 hours a day. Contact our Springfield MO sexual abuse attorneys to get help receiving the compensation you deserve.

What Constitutes As Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse refers to any unwanted sexual act or behavior that violates a person’s consent or makes them feel uncomfortable. Acts of sexual abuse can include:

  • Unwanted kissing, touching, or fondling of sexual body parts.
  • Forcing someone to watch or engage in pornography.
  • Coercing someone into any sexual act through manipulation, threats or physical force.
  • Engaging in sexual activity with someone who is unable to consent due to age, intoxication, unconsciousness, or cognitive impairment.

Sexual abuse encompasses any unwanted sexual behavior that violates your consent and makes you feel uncomfortable. Several key factors determine whether an act constitutes sexual abuse:

  • Lack of consent
  • Coercion and force
  • Exploitation
  • Age Appropriateness

Sexual abuse can have devastating psychological and emotional impacts on victims that last long after the abuse has ended. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual abuse, seek help from local authorities, a medical professional, or call a free helpline. No one deserves to suffer in silence, and there are caring resources available 24 hours a day. Contact our Springfield MO sexual abuse attorneys to get help receiving the compensation you deserve.

The Impact Of Sexual Abuse

The Springfield MO sexual abuse attorneys at Monsees & Mayer understand that non-consensual sexual interactions, such as sexual abuse and assault, can have devastating and long-lasting impacts on victims. The trauma from these experiences often manifests both physically and psychologically.

Physical Impacts

Victims of sexual abuse may experience physical injuries like bruises, cuts, and broken bones. Research has demonstrated that individuals who experience sexual assault during childhood are more likely to engage in risky behaviors later in life, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Disordered eating habits

Sexually transmitted infections and diseases are another concern, especially if protection was not used.

Psychological Impacts

The psychological impacts of sexual abuse tend to be severe and long-term. Common issues include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Reliving the traumatic experience through flashbacks, nightmares, and frightening thoughts.
  • Anxiety and depression: Feelings of fear, worry, low mood, and low self-esteem.
  • Difficulty forming relationships: Challenges with intimacy, trust, communication and setting boundaries.
  • Substance abuse: Using drugs, alcohol, or other substances as a way to cope with emotional distress and numb painful memories.
  • Self-harm: Engaging in behaviors such as cutting, burning, or other self-inflicted injuries.
  • Eating disorders: Struggles with unhealthy eating habits and body image.

Effects on Daily Life

The effects of past sexual abuse or assault can permeate into many areas of a person’s daily life. Victims may have trouble maintaining a job or pursuing an education due to impaired concentration and difficulty functioning. Parenting or other caregiving roles can also be impacted. The trauma of these experiences can unfortunately shape a person’s beliefs, choices and interactions for years to come.

With professional support, the impacts of sexual abuse can be healed and overcome. However, it is a difficult process that often takes time, courage and commitment to address these deep wounds. Contact our Springfield MO sexual abuse lawyers to get help receiving the compensation you deserve for these devastating impacts. We can help hold perpetrators accountable.

The Impact Of Sexual Abuse

The Springfield MO sexual abuse attorneys at Monsees & Mayer understand that non-consensual sexual interactions, such as sexual abuse and assault, can have devastating and long-lasting impacts on victims. The trauma from these experiences often manifests both physically and psychologically.

Physical Impacts

Victims of sexual abuse may experience physical injuries like bruises, cuts, and broken bones. Research has demonstrated that individuals who experience sexual assault during childhood are more likely to engage in risky behaviors later in life, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Disordered eating habits

Sexually transmitted infections and diseases are another concern, especially if protection was not used.

Psychological Impacts

The psychological impacts of sexual abuse tend to be severe and long-term. Common issues include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Reliving the traumatic experience through flashbacks, nightmares, and frightening thoughts.
  • Anxiety and depression: Feelings of fear, worry, low mood, and low self-esteem.
  • Difficulty forming relationships: Challenges with intimacy, trust, communication and setting boundaries.
  • Substance abuse: Using drugs, alcohol, or other substances as a way to cope with emotional distress and numb painful memories.
  • Self-harm: Engaging in behaviors such as cutting, burning, or other self-inflicted injuries.
  • Eating disorders: Struggles with unhealthy eating habits and body image.

Effects on Daily Life

The effects of past sexual abuse or assault can permeate into many areas of a person’s daily life. Victims may have trouble maintaining a job or pursuing an education due to impaired concentration and difficulty functioning. Parenting or other caregiving roles can also be impacted. The trauma of these experiences can unfortunately shape a person’s beliefs, choices and interactions for years to come.

With professional support, the impacts of sexual abuse can be healed and overcome. However, it is a difficult process that often takes time, courage and commitment to address these deep wounds. Contact our Springfield MO sexual abuse lawyers to get help receiving the compensation you deserve for these devastating impacts. We can help hold perpetrators accountable.

Sexual Abuse Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs On Filing A Police Report

Will my report be confidential?

Police reports are not confidential, but police officers are required to keep victim’s information private. Your report and details of the incident will be included in public records, however, your personal information such as your address and phone number will be kept confidential. You can request to have certain sensitive details of your report sealed for additional privacy.

What information will I need to provide?

You will need to provide details about the incident(s) of abuse including dates, times, locations, and the identity of the perpetrator if known. Be prepared to give specific examples of what happened. Any evidence you have to support your claims, such as messages, photos, or medical records, should also be brought to the attention of police. They may ask very personal questions in order to thoroughly investigate your allegations.

Can I have a support person with me?

Yes, you have the right to have a victim advocate, counselor, friend or family member present with you when filing a police report. Their support can help you feel more at ease answering difficult questions. inform the police if you plan to have someone accompany you so they will allow them to be present during your interview.

What happens after I file the report?

The police will investigate your report to determine appropriate next steps. This may involve interviewing witnesses, examining evidence, and questioning the perpetrator. The findings will then be reviewed by prosecutors to decide if criminal charges should be filed. You will be notified if an arrest is made or charges are brought against the perpetrator. However, if insufficient evidence is found, the case may be closed without further action. Filing a police report can be an important first step towards justice and preventing future abuse, even if it does not immediately lead to legal consequences.

General Sexual Abuse FAQs

What legally constitutes as sexual abuse?

According to US laws, sexual abuse refers to any unwanted sexual activity forced upon an individual against their will. This includes a range of acts, such as inappropriate touching, vaginal/anal penetration, incest, exposing genitals to a minor, distributing sexually explicit content to a minor, and more.

What are the common signs of sexual abuse in children or adults?

  • Displaying knowledge or interest in sexual acts that is inappropriate for their age.
  • Expressing fear or anxiety about being left alone with a particular person.
  • Experiencing difficulty walking or sitting, or reporting genital pain.
  • Exhibiting sudden changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn, angry, or defiant.
  • Running away from home or showing reluctance to return home.

What should I do if I suspect sexual abuse?

If you suspect someone is a victim of sexual abuse, report your concerns to local law enforcement immediately. You should also contact local child/adult protective services. Some key steps to take include:

  1. Stay calm and find a safe place to speak with the victim in private. Express your concern for their safety and wellbeing.
  2. Listen without judgment and reassure the victim that the abuse is not their fault.
  3. Record details of what the victim shares with you, including dates and nature of incidents.
  4. Seek counseling or medical care for the victim as needed. A doctor can also properly collect any physical evidence of abuse.
  5. Report the abuse to the authorities, even if the victim asks you not to. Their safety should be the top priority.

Sexual abuse comes in many forms but is always unacceptable. By understanding the signs and knowing how to properly respond to disclosure, each of us has the power to help prevent sexual abuse and support victims in seeking justice and healing.

Sexual Abuse Cases Time Limits FAQs

What is a statute of limitations?

A statute of limitations refers to the maximum time period allowed by law for initiating a legal proceeding. Each state sets its own statutes of limitations for different types of cases, including sexual abuse. Once the statute of limitations expires, a legal case can no longer be filed.

How long do I have to file a sexual abuse lawsuit?

The statute of limitations for filing a civil lawsuit over child sexual abuse ranges from 2 to 30 years after a victim’s 18th birthday, depending on the state. Some states have eliminated the statute of limitations for criminal charges and civil lawsuits related to child sex abuse. It’s best to consult with a lawyer regarding the statute of limitations in your state.

Can the statute of limitations be extended?

Some states have passed laws allowing victims of child sex abuse to file lawsuits long after the statute of limitations has expired. These are known as window legislation and they temporarily lift the statute of limitations. Victims may have a year or more to pursue a civil case that would otherwise be time-barred. A few states have also fully eliminated the statute of limitations for child sex abuse going forward.

What if I repressed memories of the abuse?

Some states allow for an extension of the statute of limitations in cases where a victim has repressed or suppressed memories of childhood sexual abuse. Known as the delayed discovery rule, it allows the clock to start ticking on the statute of limitations when a victim first remembers the abuse. However, some states require that there be verifiable evidence to support a claim of repressed memories. It is best to consult with a lawyer to determine if the delayed discovery rule applies in your state.

Sexual Abuse Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs On Filing A Police Report

Will my report be confidential?

Police reports are not confidential, but police officers are required to keep victim’s information private. Your report and details of the incident will be included in public records, however, your personal information such as your address and phone number will be kept confidential. You can request to have certain sensitive details of your report sealed for additional privacy.

What information will I need to provide?

You will need to provide details about the incident(s) of abuse including dates, times, locations, and the identity of the perpetrator if known. Be prepared to give specific examples of what happened. Any evidence you have to support your claims, such as messages, photos, or medical records, should also be brought to the attention of police. They may ask very personal questions in order to thoroughly investigate your allegations.

Can I have a support person with me?

Yes, you have the right to have a victim advocate, counselor, friend or family member present with you when filing a police report. Their support can help you feel more at ease answering difficult questions. inform the police if you plan to have someone accompany you so they will allow them to be present during your interview.

What happens after I file the report?

The police will investigate your report to determine appropriate next steps. This may involve interviewing witnesses, examining evidence, and questioning the perpetrator. The findings will then be reviewed by prosecutors to decide if criminal charges should be filed. You will be notified if an arrest is made or charges are brought against the perpetrator. However, if insufficient evidence is found, the case may be closed without further action. Filing a police report can be an important first step towards justice and preventing future abuse, even if it does not immediately lead to legal consequences.

General Sexual Abuse FAQs

What legally constitutes as sexual abuse?

According to US laws, sexual abuse refers to any unwanted sexual activity forced upon an individual against their will. This includes a range of acts, such as inappropriate touching, vaginal/anal penetration, incest, exposing genitals to a minor, distributing sexually explicit content to a minor, and more.

What are the common signs of sexual abuse in children or adults?

  • Displaying knowledge or interest in sexual acts that is inappropriate for their age.
  • Expressing fear or anxiety about being left alone with a particular person.
  • Experiencing difficulty walking or sitting, or reporting genital pain.
  • Exhibiting sudden changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn, angry, or defiant.
  • Running away from home or showing reluctance to return home.

What should I do if I suspect sexual abuse?

If you suspect someone is a victim of sexual abuse, report your concerns to local law enforcement immediately. You should also contact local child/adult protective services. Some key steps to take include:

  1. Stay calm and find a safe place to speak with the victim in private. Express your concern for their safety and wellbeing.
  2. Listen without judgment and reassure the victim that the abuse is not their fault.
  3. Record details of what the victim shares with you, including dates and nature of incidents.
  4. Seek counseling or medical care for the victim as needed. A doctor can also properly collect any physical evidence of abuse.
  5. Report the abuse to the authorities, even if the victim asks you not to. Their safety should be the top priority.

Sexual abuse comes in many forms but is always unacceptable. By understanding the signs and knowing how to properly respond to disclosure, each of us has the power to help prevent sexual abuse and support victims in seeking justice and healing.

Sexual Abuse Cases Time Limits FAQs

What is a statute of limitations?

A statute of limitations refers to the maximum time period allowed by law for initiating a legal proceeding. Each state sets its own statutes of limitations for different types of cases, including sexual abuse. Once the statute of limitations expires, a legal case can no longer be filed.

How long do I have to file a sexual abuse lawsuit?

The statute of limitations for filing a civil lawsuit over child sexual abuse ranges from 2 to 30 years after a victim’s 18th birthday, depending on the state. Some states have eliminated the statute of limitations for criminal charges and civil lawsuits related to child sex abuse. It’s best to consult with a lawyer regarding the statute of limitations in your state.

Can the statute of limitations be extended?

Some states have passed laws allowing victims of child sex abuse to file lawsuits long after the statute of limitations has expired. These are known as window legislation and they temporarily lift the statute of limitations. Victims may have a year or more to pursue a civil case that would otherwise be time-barred. A few states have also fully eliminated the statute of limitations for child sex abuse going forward.

What if I repressed memories of the abuse?

Some states allow for an extension of the statute of limitations in cases where a victim has repressed or suppressed memories of childhood sexual abuse. Known as the delayed discovery rule, it allows the clock to start ticking on the statute of limitations when a victim first remembers the abuse. However, some states require that there be verifiable evidence to support a claim of repressed memories. It is best to consult with a lawyer to determine if the delayed discovery rule applies in your state.

Contact Our Springfield MO Sexual Abuse Attorneys

As a survivor, you have rights. You have options. And you have support. No one deserves to suffer abuse of any kind. Speaking with a Springfield MO sexual abuse attorney about your legal options can be an empowering first step towards seeking safety, justice and healing.