February 7, 2020

Is It Too Late for Me to File a Claim Against the Mormon Church for Sexual Abuse?

Some of the most frequently asked questions we hear at Abused in Mormonism is whether or not time has run out for an abuse survivor to file a claim against the Mormon Church.

“Is it too late for me to file a claim?”

“Am I too old to file a claim?”

“Did I wait too long to file a claim?”

Usually, your ability to file a civil claim depends on where the abuse happened. The statute of limitations, or length of time for filing a civil lawsuit, for sex abuse claims differs from state to state.

Changed Statute of Limitations on Sexual Abuse

For many years, states have been very inflexible about their statute of limitations on sexual abuse, preventing many survivors from pursuing justice and healing for their abuse in civil court. However, due to the tireless work of advocates and sexual abuse survivors, some state legislatures have listened to the need for more compassionate laws surrounding statute of limitations on child sexual abuse.

Several states around the U.S. have provided the following opportunities for abuse survivors:

  • Raised age limits to file a civil claim for sexual abuse
  • Extended time to file a civil claim after discovery abuse
  • Opened “look back” windows. “Look back” windows are periods of time when survivors can bring forward civil claims, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. Even claims that were previously barred due to expired statute of limitations can be brought forward during these windows of time.

List of States with “Look Back” Windows for Sexual Abuse Claims

  • Arizona
    • Arizona’s nineteen-month “look back” window started June 1, 2019 and ends December 31, 2020.
  • California
    • California’s three-year “look back” window opened January 1, 2020 and ends January 1, 2023.
  • District of Columbia
    • District of Columbia’s two-year “look back” window started May 1, 2019 and ends May 1, 2021.
  • Hawaii
    • Hawaii’s two-year “look back” window opened July 10, 2018 and ends in April 2020.
  • Montana
    • Montana’s one-year “look back” window started May 7, 2019 and ends May 7, 2020.
  • North Carolina
    • North Carolina’s two-year “look back” window opened January 1, 2020 and ends January 1, 2022.
  • New Jersey
    • New Jersey's two-year "look back" window started December 1, 2019 and ends December 1, 2021.
  • New York
    • New York’s one-year “look back” window, famously known as the Child Victims Act, started August 14, 2019 and ends August 14, 2020.
  • Vermont
    • Vermont completely eliminated age limits May 2019 and has a “look back” window that never expires.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer for my Sexual Abuse Case?

Because many of these states’ statute of limitations are incredibly short, talking with a sexual abuse lawyer right away is important.  An experienced sexual abuse attorney will better be able to advise you on whether or not your case is still eligible to file a claim. Many times child sex abuse victims miss their chance to pursue justice because they waited too long, so coming forward now to see if you are eligible is vital to secure your legal rights.

An experienced sexual abuse lawyer will possess the legal know-how to help you make informed decisions about your case, so you can feel confident and at peace with how your case is handled. We can even advise you on who you can file a claim against if you were abused in the Mormon Church.

While we understand compensation cannot fix the crimes the past, it can help hold the Mormon Church accountable for your abuse and compensate you for financial burdens such as therapy and counseling.

We know recounting your abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be terrifying and uncomfortable. So, we want you to know we are here for you, are available around the clock to talk whenever you are comfortable, and have resources that could be helpful in your recovery from sexual abuse.

If you were abused as a child by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you are not alone and without options. Please call us today or fill out our contact form for your no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation. We are here to help you on your road to recovery. Call (877) 537-2889 today to speak with a representative now.

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