Holding Abusers Accountable Through Civil Lawsuits
The criminal justice system is notorious for letting down the survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). However, many survivors of childhood sexual abuse have another option for seeking justice: A civil claim filed against the abuser or the institution that allowed the sexual abuse to occur. Maryland’s new law, the Child Victim’s Act of 2023, empowers survivors to bring civil cases for the financial harm caused by the abuse they experienced.
How Does Maryland’s New Lookback Window Law Work?
The Child Victim’s Act creates a “lookback window” in which survivors of childhood sexual abuse can file lawsuits against individual perpetrators or the institutions that enabled the abuse, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred. Previously in Maryland, victims of childhood sexual abuse could file a civil claim only until they turned 38 years old. Under the new law, there is no time limit for filing a childhood sexual abuse claim.
The Child Victim’s Act was passed soon after the Maryland Attorney General’s Office released a report noting that more than 600 children were sexually abused by priests associated with the Archdiocese of Baltimore since 1942. Fortunately, because of the Child Victim’s Act, those victims and any other childhood sexual abuse survivor, can now file a civil lawsuit. Even if the abuse happened decades ago, it is not too late to seek justice.
Our Law Firm’s Commitment To Victim Advocacy
We know how difficult it is to come forward to disclose sexual abuse. Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP‘s Sexual Violence, Title IX and Victims’ Rights Practice Group, led by Christine Dunn and Carolin Guentert, has extensive experience helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Our team of attorneys can explore your options and explain your rights when it comes to pursuing civil claims against the individual or the institution that caused you harm. We are trained in trauma-informed advocacy and represent clients in a compassionate and victim-centered manner. With law offices throughout the United States, we regularly take on some of the nation’s most powerful institutions, including:
- Catholic archdioceses
- Public school districts and private schools
- Colleges and universities
- The Boy Scouts of America
- Various youth organizations
- Hospitals and private practices
- Government entities
Learn More About Your Rights Today
If you feel ready to hold the person or institution who harmed you responsible in a civil case, please contact us to set up a confidential initial consultation. To reach us, please call our Baltimore office at 646-512-8609 or send us an email.