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How Long Do I Have to Report Childhood Sexual Abuse?

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Most people are aware that childhood sexual abuse is severely underreported. And it might not be until much later in life that related trauma begins to interfere with relationships and employment, prompting the need for counseling and other services.

Recently, the New Hampshire Department of Justice announced that it was taking over an investigation that resulted in the return of 82 total indictments against two individuals working at the Youth Detention Center in Manchester. Along with that announcement, the department disclosed that it would be doing further investigation into any abuse that might have occurred between 1990 and 2000.

What Is The Process?

While the criminal process might provide some vindication for victims, it is not meant as the primary procedure for asserting individual rights. Rather, the criminal process tends to be more focused on protecting society by reforming the conduct of the offender.

Victims have their own rights to assert. This might come in the form of a suit directly against the abuser, or against those that might have turned a blind eye or failed in some duty to prevent the conduct from ever occurring. But with the passage of time, many people begin to assume that it’s too late to do anything. New Hampshire’s laws recognize this issue by extending the time people have to bring suit in sexual abuse cases. Normally, a person has three years from the date of an injury to bring a claim; but if the claim involves conduct that would qualify as sexual assault on a person under 18, the person can bring the charge up until their 30th birthday, or within three years from the date that the person discovers that their trauma is related to the abuse.

If you or someone you know is the victim of abuse at the hands of a person who has never been held to account, we might be able to help. You can start by calling Jared Bedrick at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., (603) 288-1403 or fill out our online contact form.