Child Victims Act FAQ
What if I am already older than 25 or 28 (to pursue criminal charges) or 55 (to pursue civil charges)?
Unfortunately, the time-limited window to pursue a civil case closed on August 13, 2021. Although you may no longer be able to file a case, Safe Horizon can still provide you with emotional support and counseling.
You can find information about our Helpline here.
What you can do:
|AGE||What you can do|
|Between 18 and 22||
|23 and Older||
What is the difference between a criminal and a civil case?
In a criminal case, the state decides if and how to pursue the case. If the abuser is convicted, they may be sentenced to jail or prison.
In a civil case, the survivor, not the state, makes decisions that shape the case, including whether to sue, accept a settlement offer, or go to trial.
If the court rules in favor of the survivor, the abuser may have to pay damages. Civil litigation may hold institutions, like churches, schools, or organizations, accountable.
What did the lookback window do?
The lookback window allowed any survivor who couldn’t sue under the previous statute of limitations to file a civil case. This included survivors who had never filed a case or claim and those whose cases were dismissed because of the previous statute of limitations. Survivors of ANY age were able to file a civil case during this window.
The window closed on August 13, 2021.