Referred to as, “Annie’s Bill,” the Rhode Island General Assembly recently passed a bill to increase the statute of limitation in which a victim can file a claim against a person who sexually abused them as a child. In a win for victims, they can now have adequate amount of time to deal with their trauma from childhood and bring their abuser to justice.
What Does The New Legislation State?
Passed on July 2, 2019, the new legislation regarding the time to file a claim, regarding the sexual abuse of a child, increased from 7 years to 35 years. The amended law also states that in regards to a child who was sexually abused, the time limit with which to file a claim, also known as the statute of limitations, will not take effect until they reach the age of 18. This essentially makes it so victims could file a claim against their abuser until the age of 53. Additionally, the bill includes a 7-year discovery rule. For adult victims, they will be allowed to file suit against those that abused them if they discovered an injury took place as a cause of the abuse within 7 years.
Why Did The Statute of Limitations Extension Occur?
Sexual abuse of anyone is heinous enough, but a whole new level of atrocity is compounded when it involves a child who cannot grasp what is going on. The statute of limitations extension was introduced with the child’s interests in mind. If, for example, a child was abused at age 14, the statute of limitations to file would expire after the age of 21 under the old law. Confusion and shame could easily stop the victim from coming forward, allowing the statute of limitations to expire. Now, under the new law, time is allowed for the victim to come to terms with what happened and bring justice where justice is deserved.
Contact An Experienced RI Child Sexual Abuse Lawyer Today!
If you or a loved one was the victim of child sexual abuse, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, and pain and suffering, among other losses. We work with experienced RI Sexual Abuse Lawyers, who may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf. There is no fee unless you receive a settlement or award. Contact us anytime toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.