Whether you’re the loved one of someone who survived childhood sexual abuse or a survivor yourself, navigating what to do after sexual abuse can be overwhelming. In fact, the resulting consequences from surviving childhood sexual abuse can include regressed cognitive development and issues relating to short-term memory (1). This can make navigating justice and compensation more difficult than other abuse cases. In South Carolina, survivors must file a child sexual abuse lawsuit by whichever is the latest of these two dates:
- Three years after the survivor realizes the abuse caused injury
- Six years after the survivor’s twenty-first birthday
Child sexual abuse attorneys can help survivors get the closure they need, as well as receive financial compensation for the damages–emotional, physical, or mental–that have occurred.
If you or someone you love is seeking compensation or justice for childhood sexual abuse, it’s important to understand the child sex abuse statute of limitations in South Carolina. South Carolina has one of the most progressive statute of limitations on these cases compared to other states.
Because of the statute of limitations, it is important to take child sexual abuse accusations seriously. South Carolina’s statute of limitations understands how sensitive and complex these cases can be, with survivors commonly experiencing memory blockages relating to the abuse (2). This means survivors may not fully realize or remember the abuse for up to decades after it occurred.
South Carolina carefully mapped out its statute of limitations regarding these crimes with these insights in mind. This statute can give survivors an opportunity to seek justice and compensation at any point in their lifetime.
What Constitutes as Child Sexual Abuse?
Child sexual abuse is defined as any sexual activity with a minor, because children cannot–by definition of the law–consent to sexual activity of any kind. Physical contact does not need to occur in order for the action to qualify as sexual abuse. Common forms of child sexual abuse include:
- Obscene conversations, including digital interactions or phone calls
- Exhibitionism or exposing oneself to a minor
- Masturbation in the presence of a minor, or encouraging or forcing a minor to masturbate
- Intercourse, or any other form of sex with a minor
- Procuring or sharing pornographic images with a minor
- Producing, owning, or sharing pornographic images of a minor
- Sex trafficking
If you or someone you love believes you have been sexually abused as a child and want to know your options, the experts at Strom Law can help you determine whether or not you have a case and your options moving forward.
What Damages Can Survivors Seek Compensation For?
In civil cases of child sexual abuse, the survivor will file a suit against the alleged perpetrator as well as other parties who may be also held liable for injuries sustained. This can include direct or indirect liability, such as ignoring accusations or exhibiting negligence or complacency during the abuse.
Civil cases differ from criminal cases in that the burden of proof must only show that the alleged events are ‘more likely than not’ to have taken place. Evidence provided must support the claims just enough to convince a judge or jury, making them typically easier to prove.
In these cases, the survivor may receive financial compensation for damages and injuries sustained during or as a result of the abuse. If the defendant is found guilty, they may be ordered to provide financial compensation for:
- Medical bills or debts incurred as a result of the abuse
- Loss of earning capacity
- Relocation costs
- Physical injuries
- Mental health, counseling, and psychiatric services
- Pain and suffering
This list is not all-inclusive, and for accurate insights into what damages you may be compensated for, consult with your legal team or representative. This compensation can be life-changing for survivors, especially those who have struggled with the long-term implications of surviving childhood sexual abuse.
There are also options to pursue the criminal case route, where the perpetrator may face criminal consequences for their abusive actions. This can include time in prison, and these cases typically are represented by government bodies with the survivor usually providing valuable testimony.
Return Power to Survivors at Strom Law
Child sexual abuse lawsuits can take the form of both civil and criminal cases. The definition of child sexual abuse is wide, and the opportunity for justice and compensation may be available.
At Strom Law, we address each child sex abuse case with the care and empathy they require. We are survivor-focused and advocate for survivors so that they can work towards the closure they need. To explore your options, contact our offices today.