Now that the state of Hawaii has provided an opportunity for justice for those survivors of sexual abuse, it’s important to understand what the new “window legislation” provides for survivors who want to pursue a civil legal claim. In summary, here is what the law stipulates:
- up to 8 years after the child victim or person who committed the act of sexual abuse attains the age of majority (18 years), whichever occurs later; or
- up to 3 years after the date the minor discovers or reasonably should have discovered that psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of minor’s eighteenth birthday was caused by the sexual abuse, whichever comes later.
- for a period of two years after the effective date of this new law (April 24, 2012) for cases in which a victim of child sexual abuse had been barred from filing a civil claim against the alleged abuser due to the expiration of the applicable civil statute of limitations that was in effect prior to April 24, 2012
The new Hawaii sexual abuse law applies to those who were abused by an employee of public entities such as the Boy Scouts of America, the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), the Catholic Church or any other institution of public trust. It also applies to those who were abused during an activity controlled by or under the responsibility of one of these institutions of trust.
The Boy Scout Perversion Files which we released to the public in October lists four alleged perpetrators from Hawaii, two of whom have Boy Scout troop-specific allegations of sexual abuse. However, none of the four alleged perpetrators were ever charged with criminal offenses.