Statutes of limitation can prevent a victim from bringing a legal claim for an assault that occurred years prior. The application of statues of limitation to a childhood victim can be particularly cruel because children often are not capable of processing that they have been sexually assaulted and too embarrassed to tell a parent. In many cases, another ‘trusted’ adult was the perpetrator. The end result, as the New York Times reports, is justice denied:
“But as schools increasingly confront sexual abuse carried out against children in their care, sometimes decades ago, the statutes have also become a way for them to avoid paying victims.
Lawyers, insurers and other experts in the field say that former students whose abuse falls within the statute might receive a settlement in the high six figures, even millions. But once outside it, victims see just a fraction of that, even as schools commission investigations, declare their contrition and promise to do right by them. Often, survivors see nothing at all.”