If you were sexually abused as a child in Illinois, you may not feel comfortable coming forward about the abuse until much later in life. Thankfully, the state of Illinois has a twenty-year statute of limitations for child sexual abuse. This statute of limitations doesn’t begin until you turn eighteen and can also begin later if you don’t realize the abuse occurred until later in life.
Once you’re aware of the abuse, however, you should speak up so you can prevent further abuse from occurring. Even if you can’t press criminal charges against your abuser, a Chicago sexual abuse lawyer from Lane & Lane, LLC can help you press civil charges and seek justice.
Where Child Sexual Abuse Occurs
Child sexual abuse can occur anywhere—at home, at school, in daycare, or at church. Depending on where the abuse occurs, there may be more than one liable party. For example, if you were sexually abused as a child in church, it’s possible to sue both the church and your abuser.
Children are often sexually abused by people close to them, which is why it can be difficult to know when abuse is occurring. Your abuser may have taught you that what was happening to you was okay but later on in life, you may have developed a deep sense of shame and guilt.
Suing the Abuser in Civil Court
Suing your abuser in civil court will get you the justice you deserve for your mistreatment. Not only can you receive a settlement for the abuse you’ve experienced, but you may find that speaking up about your experience after all these years is healing and allows you to move forward in peace.
If evidence is no longer available to criminally convict your abuser, a civil lawsuit will get the abuser’s name out in the public and show the world the type of person they are.
Damages You Can Receive for Your Mistreatment
If you can successfully prove that child sexual abuse occurred, then you can get the most out of your claim by accounting for both economic and non-economic damages in your lawsuit.
Economic damages may include any medical expenses you’ve incurred from physical or mental treatment resulting from the abuse. Non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. The judge may also award punitive damages in a child sexual abuse lawsuit to further punish the abuser and make an example of them.
Contact a Chicago Sexual Abuse Attorney
Coming forward about child sexual abuse can be difficult. If you’ve held the shame and hurt of your experience deep inside for a long time, you may find it hard to speak up. But, when you decide it’s time to come forward, it can be a deeply healing experience.