MAUI TRAGEDY: For over 40 years, Davis Levin Livingston has represented our friends and neighbors on all the islands and they will be there for you in this hour of tragedy. Click here for more information.

Skip to Content

Hawaii Law Extends the Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Abuse Claims Until 2020


No child deserves to suffer abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of any kind. Even when that child grows older, the pain and trauma of their assault may never truly go away, even with extensive therapy and loving support. Whatever the situation, sexual abuse is extremely damaging, especially when the victim is a young child. When this type of abuse occurs, children don’t always know how to come forward and tell adults about their mistreatment. As a result, countless cases of child abuse go unreported.

Fortunately, due to a new law, Act 098, child sexual abuse victims in Hawaii are now able to file lawsuits for incidents that occurred years prior. This new law extends the statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims to April 24, 2020, allowing them to hold their abusers liable for the damage they caused, even if it happened years ago. If you think you have a sexual abuse case, make sure you know what you can do to take legal action.

Understanding the Previous Law

Under the old legislation in Hawaii, victims of child abuse were only permitted to file a claim within a limited period from the date their abuse occurred or from the date they realized they had suffered psychological harm from their mistreatment. This time limit, called a statute of limitations, only allowed individuals to sue their abusers within three years of the date the crime was committed. Or, if the child was under the age of 18, he or she was able to file a lawsuit against the abuser within three years from the day he or she turned 18.

How Will the New Law Help?

Children throughout the United States are sexually abused every day, and many of those children don’t report their abuse. Whether they fear repercussions or they simply don’t understand what’s happening to them, there are several reasons children do not report abuse. Even as they become adults, reporting past trauma can be remarkably difficult. However, in order to bring abusers to justice, some sexual abuse victims need time to recover and heal in order to bring forth their legal claims.

The new law, Act 098, extends the statute of limitations in Hawaii, allowing child sex abuse victims to file any reports of sexual assault, no matter how long ago the incident occurred, until the filing deadline on April 24, 2020. This statute extension allows victims of any age to file lawsuits against any individual, institution, business, or corporation that owed them duty of care.

Don’t Let Your Abuser Go Free. Take Action, Today

Abuse that transpires years, or even decades, in the past, may be difficult to bring back up. However, this type of trauma doesn’t just go away—the harm could manifest in other areas of your life, causing behavioral problems or psychological trauma. Men and women who sexually exploit young children should not be allowed to get away with their crimes, especially because they could go on to abuse other children if they aren’t held accountable now.

If you suffered sexual abuse as a child, our firm is prepared to help you take action against your abuser. We have ample experience working on cases like these, and we can guide you through each step of the legal process, providing you with the support you need. Our compassionate, trial-tested legal team understands how challenging this can be, which is why we want to do everything in our power to hold your abuser accountable for the harm they caused.

Call Davis Levin Livingston at (808) 740-0633 to discuss your child sex abuse case.