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Statute of Limitations for Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Children are amongst the most vulnerable members of our society. They need support, care and supervision. Sadly, too many children are taken advantage of by those responsible for their care. Even more troubling is the severity of this breach of trust. Studies show that children who have been sexually abused repress these memories. It is a common coping mechanism that allows them to survive their tortured environment. Often times it is not until years later that these individuals come to realize that they were victims of childhood sexual abuse. Those afflicted have been repressing these memories and suffering harm their whole lives. How are they to know whether they are covered under Washington’s statute of limitations of childhood sexual abuse?
Fortunately, in the state of Washington, pursuant to RCW 4.16.190 children’s claims for injuries are extended until they reach the age of majority. This means that children that have been the victim of someone else’s negligence or intentional actions have until the age of 18 before the statute of limitations begins to run.
Washington also has even more protections built in for children who have been the victim of childhood sexual abuse.
According to RCW 4.16.340, a child who has been the victim of sexual abuse may have much a longer window (potentially indefinitely) to file their claim and seek compensation from the perpetrator.
At Washington Law Center, our attorneys have been able to pursue claims on behalf of victims of childhood sexual abuse well into their adulthood. In one case, our client was nearly sixty years of age. These victims were abused by clergy members, youth homes, foster homes, day care facilities, teachers and members of their own family. Sadly, these victims were unable to realize how childhood sexual abuse had been impacting them their entire life.
The attorneys at Washington Law Center take pride in representing victims of childhood sexual abuse and welcome the opportunity to take on these difficult cases. We will seek recourse for those who have been harmed. Contact us at your earliest convenience for your free consultation.
Disclaimer – This article and its contents are not meant to convey any specific legal advice and does not constitute any attorney-client relationship. You are encouraged to speak to an attorney regarding any specific question as many matters are very fact specific and require significant legal analysis.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ashton Dennis is a litigation and trial attorney at Washington Law Center focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered a serious personal injury or wrongful death. He was named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by the National Trial Lawyers of Washington State and one of the “Premier 100” trial attorneys by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers in Washington. Click here to learn more about Ashton.