It is common for survivors of sexual abuse and assault to delay reporting their experience for months, years, or even decades. The obstacles to coming forward can seem overwhelming. Many victims fear being blamed, shamed, or not believed, not wanting to relive the trauma through a barrage of questions, dependence on the abuser, or fear of further physical harm.
Coming forward is especially difficult for victims who are vulnerable due to personal or cultural factors, physically or mentally disabled individuals, immigrant children, and indigenous women. LGBTQ+ individuals and indigenous women face higher than average rates of sexual assault and unique challenges in reporting. Children and disabled people may be unable to come forward independently, are often dependent on their abuser, or may not fully understand what has happened. Usually, abuse occurs within institutions we trust to protect us: churches, schools, kids’ clubs, and care centers.
Thanks to new laws in California, survivors of sexual abuse and assault now have expanded opportunities to pursue justice.
If you or someone you love is the victim of sexual abuse, even if it happened years ago, speak with an experienced and compassionate Northern California sexual assault attorney at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly, & Schoenberger.
A statute of limitations is a law that sets a specific time limit for beginning a legal action following a dispute or offense.
California has Expanded the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Cases
California Assembly Bill 218, which officially became law on January 1, 2020, permanently extends the statute of limitations for survivors of child abuse in California to):
- the date the survivor turns 40 years old; or
- Up to five years from discovering that “psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by the sexual assault.” (whichever is later).
We want to hear your story. At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly, & Schoenberger, our San Francisco sexual abuse lawyers understand your trauma and how difficult it is to speak out. Although we can’t change what happened to you, we have more than six decades of success in helping victims of sexual abuse and assault secure the compensation they deserve. Call today.