If you or someone you care about was sexually abused as a child, you may have legal grounds to take action and obtain financial compensation. Our Maryland Child Victims Act lawyers can help review your options based on your circumstances. Thanks to recent legislation changes, survivors of childhood sexual abuse have new opportunities to seek justice. The Maryland Child Victims Act went into effect on October 1, 2023. It allows survivors who were abused as children to file civil lawsuits against perpetrators and/or the institutions that failed to protect them. Our team at Brown Kiely LLP is committed to each and every client that walks through our doors. We know that it can take courage to come forward with an accusation about sexual abuse, and we will handle your case with care, sensitivity, and confidentiality.
Statute of Limitations Change
The state of Maryland has established a new law that allows a permanent window of time for victims of childhood sexual assault to come forward to file civil cases. While there has never been a Maryland statute of limitations for criminal charges, under previous laws, those who suffered sexual abuse in their youth could not take civil legal action after turning 38 years old. Each survivor’s timeline to seek accountability for abuse is personal and varies widely. Because of how damaging childhood sexual abuse can be, it should be no surprise that victims will have varying timelines for when they are prepared to pursue civil charges, if they ever decide to do so.
Individuals and Institutions
Both individuals and institutions can be involved in a civil childhood sexual abuse suit. The Maryland Child Victims Act eliminates the previous requirement that the victim had to file a case before the age of 38 years old. Now the law permanently revives all claims in which the statute of limitations had passed, and provides opportunity for thousands of victims to seek justice. Any institution that enabled, knew about, or covered up child sexual abuse could be included in your lawsuit. Some examples of offenders that survivors may file a case against include clergy members, juvenile detention center workers, teachers, or doctors. Years of high-profile investigations have revealed child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church through legal filings and internal record releases. These sources have shown reports of these community leaders violating public trust and committing sexual abuse. Our team empathizes with the immense pain that survivors have to endure from such heinous offenses.
Seek Justice for Past Abuse Today
This law has created a new path for survivors to seek justice for a traumatic event that happened in their youth. This is welcome news for those who have felt like their chance to seek justice has passed. For more information on filing a civil case against an individual or institution that abused you or a loved one in the past, please contact our compassionate Maryland Child Victims Act lawyers at Brown Kiely LLP today.