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For years North Carolina’s statute of limitations on filing claims for child sexual abuse were notoriously strict. Statute of limitations are the time limits placed on individuals to initiate legal action for a wrong committed against them. These time limits typically start from the date the alleged crime was committed. However, reports and testimonies show the average statute of limitations can be too short for survivors of sexual abuse who want to hold their abusers accountable in court. Finally, state legislatures across the nation, including North Carolina, are beginning to recognize their statute of limitations on civil cases of sexual abuse are outdated and are started to change them.

North Carolina not only extended their time limits to file civil cases of sexual abuse but opened a window of time that completely removes the statute of limitations to file claims for sexual abuse for two years. If you were sexually abused as a child in North Carolina, you may have a second or renewed chance to hold your abusers accountable in court. To see if you are eligible to file a claim for your abuse, connect with AVA Law Group today for your free, no-obligation case evaluation.


On November 7, 2019 North Carolina legislatures passed SB 199, a bill that extends North Carolina statute of limitations for civil child sex abuse cases. This bill not only lengthened the amount of time child abuse survivors have to file claims after being abused but opened a “look back” window that completely removes the statute of limitations for two years, opening up new opportunities for past abuse survivors to pursue justice. Both of these new opportunities may allow North Carolina sexual abuse survivors a second chance to hold their abusers accountable in court, wither it be an abuser, institution, or the government.

Age Extension and Look Back Window

In 2002, North Carolina statute of limitations only allowed abuse survivors to file civil claims for abuse until the age of 21 or three years from abuse discovery. This incredibly narrow time frame prevented older sexual abuse victims in North Carolina from having their day in court. Now, with the passing of SB 199, North Carolina abuse survivors have until the age of 28 to file civil claims against abusers. While the discovery limit, three years, has not changed, North Carolina opened a “look back” window that completely removes the statute of limitations for two years.

During this two-year “look back” window, child abuse victims, no matter their age or how long ago their abuse happened, can file a claim against their abusers in civil court. This includes abuse cases that were previously barred by time limits or considered “ineligible” because they happened so long ago. Abuse victims will have a second chance to file claims against the perpetrators of their abuse, institutions that hid their abuse, or organizations that employed their abuser.

This two-year “look back” window opened January 1, 2020 and closes December 31, 2021.


If you were sexually abused as a child in North Carolina, your opportunity for justice could be now. With the new age limits and the two-year “look back” window, you may have a renewed chance to hold your abuser accountable in court and get compensation for your injuries. We understand that compensation can’t reverse the crimes of the past. But we know having organizations pay compensation to sexual abuse victims can help hold them accountable for their crimes, protect future children from abuse, and give you the cash award needed to pay for financial burdens caused by abuse.

To see if you are eligible to file a claim for your abuse and seek justice, contact the sexual abuse lawyers with AVA Law Group today. We have legal professionals standing by 24/7 to answer your case questions and concerns, and we do our best to ensure that any information you share with us is kept confidential. For your free, no-obligation case evaluation call us today at 1.866.4.AVALAW.

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