Sexual Assault SOL Revival Windows

Survivors of childhood sexual assault sometime are unwilling or unable to report their trauma until later in life, and in some cases, the silence is never broken. The reasons for keeping the assault private are varied, but likely revolve around some combination of fear, embarrassment, institutional disbelief or dismissal, and outright intimidation. Given the weight carried by sexual assault survivors, many are not prepared to report their experience until later in life, sometimes decades after the assault.

Statutes of limitations have barred many legal claims for injuries suffered at the hand of a sexual assault perpetrator. Often, institutions are also responsible for their negligence—or sometimes, complicity—in allowing the abuser to have continued access to children. Justice is not served where survivors lose any chance of recovery three years after the assault occurs. In some states, a claimant would be required to file a notice within 90-days of the assault or forever lose their right to sue if the institution was a public school.

After a long push by sexual assault survivors’ advocates, states are enacting “revival windows.” A revival window sets a particular time period under which the survivor can sue an individual or institution, regardless of when the assault occurred. Many time barred claims are now “revived,” but only for a prescribed amount of time.

Arizona, California, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. have all enacted revival windows. Many other states have legislation under consideration to enact a revival window. However, the length and start/end dates are different for each state.

If you are the survivor of a childhood sexual assault but did not bring a civil suit against the perpetrator or a responsible institution, you may have a brief period to bring suit. Contact the experienced sexual assault attorneys at Neumann Law Group for a free consultation today.

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