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Answers To Common Questions About Sexual Abuse Cases

If you experienced sexual abuse as a child and are considering legal action, you probably have many questions. Our attorneys at have decades of experience representing victims of sexual assault that occurred at powerful institutions like private schools and religious institutions. Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions in this area of law.

Who is legally responsible for the abuse you suffered?

You can sue the individual who molested or abused you. In addition, you may be able to sue their employer. Civil law recognizes that an employer is liable for harm caused by an employee’s negligence if the employee was in the course of their work duties. For example, the school may be liable when a teacher grooms and molests one of their students.

What exactly can you sue for?

There is no specific claim for sexual abuse in Hawai‘i civil law, but common claims related to abuse include assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

If your child was sexually abused, who can you sue if your child is still a minor?

The child’s parent or guardian can sue on their behalf. As a caregiver, you might have your own claim for emotional distress and other damages suffered related to your child’s trauma.

Can you remain anonymous?

Yes. Your attorney can file your claim under an alias like “John Doe” or “Jane Doe.” Whether you reveal your identity publicly is entirely up to you.

Is there a time limit on when you can file a lawsuit?

Hawai‘i has a statute of limitations on civil sexual abuse claims. A statute of limitations imposes a time limit on how much time can pass before a plaintiff can sue a defendant. In Hawai‘i, you generally have eight years after turning 18 or three years after the victim discovered (or reasonably should have discovered) that a psychological injury or illness occurring after their 18th birthday was caused by sexual abuse.

Need More Information?

For more information about sexual abuse litigation and your rights, please contact at our Honolulu office. We represent clients throughout the state. Call us at 808-470-4819 to schedule your confidential consultation, or send us an email for help.