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Child Sexual Abuse, Statute of Limitations, Sexual Abuse Legislation, Victims, Sexual Predators

Win For Floridians – Florida Legislature Lifts The Statute Of Limitations On Sexual Abuse Cases For Children Who Were Under 16 Years Of Age At The Time The Abuse Occurred.

By MICHELE BETTI | b&a opinions

Hooray for Florida!  Finally a state that gets it right for victims.  The Florida legislature passed a bill in May that goes into effect July 1, 2010 that eliminates the statutes of limitations for criminal and civil actions relating to sexual battery if the child is under 16 years of age at time of the sexual abuse.

The bill, HB 525, will help victims of sexual abuse seek justice in a court of law to recover damages for their abuse.  Under previous Florida law, there was a delayed statute of limitations for actions based on sexual abuse against minors that was 18 years old plus 7 Years. [Fla. Stat. § 95.11(7)].

There is also a Delayed Discovery Rule called the “Delayed Discovery Doctrine” that is still in effect for victims 16 years of age and older that allows a victim of child sexual abuse to come forward 4 Years from the date that victim knew or should have known that the injury and abuse were causally connected.  Hearndon v. Graham, 767 So. 2d 1179 (Fla. 2000); Davis v. Monahan, 832 So. 2d 708, 709-710 (Fla. 2002).  The recovery of repressed memories of abuse also qualifies as such “discovery.”  Hearndon, 767 So. 2d 1179 (Fla. 2000).

According to The National Center for Victims of Crime, which is the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims; 52% of child abuse or neglect victims were girls and 48 % were boys.  10 % of children have experienced some form of sexual violence (sexual assault, rape, harassment or flashing) during their lifetime.  The older the child victim, the greater the likelihood of being sexually assaulted by an acquaintance:  53 % of perpetrators against children ages 6 to 11 were acquaintances, as were 66 percent of perpetrators against adolescents ages 12 to 17.

To inquire whether you may have a case in Florida, go to Betti and Associates Contact page http://bettiandassociates.com/contact-us/.

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