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QLD Child S*xual Abuse Case from Over 35 Years Ago?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Kerry Lynch, 16 May 2015.

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  1. Kerry Lynch

    Kerry Lynch Member

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    Can I still pursue child sexual abuse that happened over approximately 6-7 years but ended over 35 years ago?
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kerry,

    Unfortunately, the limitation for commencing actions for child s*xual abuse (personal injury tort) is three years from when you turn 18 (Limitations of Actions Act section 29(2)(c)). The court does have discretion to extend the limitation period, but this is quite difficult to satisfy and requires you to show that a material fact or information has come into light that wasn't known before (section 31).

    This is one area where the law in QLD is unfair to survivors of child s*xual abuse. There have been many articles and papers written about abolishing this limitation for this particular offence, but presently, the limitation still exists.
     
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  3. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Sarah J , couldn't Kerry pursue this under criminal law?
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    @Ivy, you are correct: @Kerry Lynch, you may try and pursue this via the criminal route. There is no statute of limitations for criminal prosecution. However, you will need to convince the police (or public prosecutor) to pursue your case against the perpetrator. Whether or not they do will largely depend on how much evidence is available. A criminal offence requires proof at a higher burden (beyond reasonable doubt) than civil (balance of probabilities), so you, and the police, may need more evidence for this route. Further, a criminal prosecution is on behalf of the state, which means the aim of the sentence is not compensating the victim (through there may compensation of some sort) but to a combination of retribution, prevention, rehabilitation and punishment. But it is a way to see "justice being done".

    Have you tried seeking community support and speaking with others who have gone through a similar ordeal as you, to see how they dealt with their situation? The Queensland Government has a support page (with links) for victims of abuse. It also may be worth contacting your local community centre to talk about your options.
     
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