The effects of childhood sexual abuse last well into adulthood. But for a variety of reasons, the initial abuse often goes uninvestigated or unreported. The victim gets no help and no justice.
There comes a time when some victims feel strong enough to manage the stress and emotions of a lawsuit. Connecticut law allows adult survivors of childhood abuse to sue, even decades after the fact. The compassionate attorneys of Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C. are ready to advocate for you when you are ready to pursue legal action.
Explore your legal remedies in a free, confidential consultation.
Under Connecticut statute, adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse can file civil lawsuits up to 30 years past the age of majority (age 18). In other words, you must initiate your lawsuit before your 48th birthday. Once the statute of limitations expires, you forfeit that legal remedy.
We represent people in their 20s, 30s and 40s who suffered sexual abuse as children or teenagers. If the perpetrator was a person in a position of authority – a priest or pastor, a camp counselor, a teacher or coach, a doctor or therapist – we help our clients reach back in time to hold the abuser and the enablers liable through a civil suit for monetary damages.
Sexual abuse goes unreported for many reasons. The child feels ashamed or fears they won’t be believed. The abuser brainwashes the child or threatens to harm their family. Sometimes victims do speak up, but parents or other deciders sweep it under the rug. Or there is a discreet investigation, but the abuser is simply transferred or allowed to quietly resign.
Meanwhile, the cumulative trauma and the secrecy takes its toll on victims. Long after the abuse stops, the damage manifests as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, destructive behaviors, social isolation or problems with relationships.
At some point, the repressed memories surface. The victim is angry that no one helped and no one was held accountable. They realize their abuser could still be hurting other people. They learn they have a legal remedy that offers compensation and some closure.
The challenge of adult survivor lawsuits is collateral support for the complaint. At first, it’s only the victim’s word against the abuser, who may be a powerful and respected member of the community. We investigate to find supporting evidence and individuals who can corroborate your story. Did you report the abuse to another adult at the time? Was there an official investigation or internal investigation? Was the abuse reported to medical professionals? Has the perpetrator been the subject of other complaints or lawsuits? Has the institution faced prior lawsuits?
The passage of time is an issue, but it can also work in your favor. Reluctant witnesses may be willing to support you now because they have carried the guilt or because they no longer fear retaliation. Our job is to show that the abuse should have been prevented or exposed and to give a voice to the tangible harm the abuse has had in your life.
Filing a lawsuit is a daunting step. Our child abuse lawyers are here to listen to you and support you through your legal journey. Based in New Haven, we handle sexual abuse lawsuits throughout Connecticut. For a free, confidential consultation, call 203-936-7931 or contact us online.
At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., we handle all Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not get paid unless and until you receive a settlement or a jury award.