Visitor Question

Can I file a lawsuit against my abusive father for restitution?

Submitted By: Belynnda (Colorado)

Can I sue my father for restitution for sexually and emotionally abusing me from the age of 3 until I was 18? I testified and put him in prison. I am now 32 years old and I’m told that he is supposed to get out of prison next year. Is it too late to sue him for restitution for the abuse?

The abuse happened in Oklahoma, but I live in Colorado now.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Belynnda,

The Statute of Limitations in Oklahoma, for compensation sought by a victim of child sexual abuse against an abuser, is set out under Oklahoma Statute Title 12 Section 95 (6) (a) (b) which reads in part as follows:

“…6. An action based on intentional conduct brought by any person for recovery of damages for injury suffered as a result of childhood sexual abuse incidents or exploitation as defined by Section 1-1-105 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes or incest can only be brought within the latter of the following periods:

a. within two (2) years of the act alleged to have caused the injury or condition, or

b. within two (2) years of the time the victim discovered or reasonably should have discovered that the injury or condition was caused by the act or that the act caused the injury for which the claim is brought.

Provided, however, that the time limit for commencement of an action pursuant to this paragraph is tolled for a child until the child reaches the age of eighteen (18) years or until five (5) years after the perpetrator is released from the custody of a state, federal or local correctional facility or jail, whichever is later.”

Oklahoma Statutes Title 12 Section 95

In this case, because the child sexual abuse began and ended in the State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Law controls. From the facts you present, you may have leeway to file a claim under Section 6(b), being that the perpetrator has not yet been released from prison. This would also depend on when he was incarcerated.

You must speak with an attorney to pursue a case like this. There are too many legal issues involved for you to handle a case like this on your own.

Learn more here: About Child Abuse & Restitution

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


3 thoughts on “Can I file a lawsuit against my abusive father for restitution?

  1. Trisha says:

    Can an adult survivor of childhood abuse sue the widow and the estate now that the primary abuser has died? The widow is 90. Defended father a year ago for punching 16-year-old (me) in the face when I tried to seek amends. She also assaulted me regularly, and neglected me when I physically put an end to the situation. Emotional abuse from my father continued through his decline and death. I was only one of 4 children treated this way. I also want to sue estate for neglect of care, medical wise. So much money has gone to care because I was neglected. My mother the nurse allowed me to go until 2013 with untreated lyme disease. Like an adult with life long syphilis. Socialite. Very rich. New money. Busy.

  2. Ashlee says:

    My father abused me sexually starting when I was the age of 13 in 2001. He abused me physically, and mentally until I was the age of 15. Throughout this nightmare of being sexually assaulted continuously by my own father, he also forever damaged me mentally by threatening to kill my mother if I were to tell anyone about him sexually abusing me. I was horrified for a little over 2 years being assaulted and knowing that my mother’s life is at stake if I broke my silence.

    Sexual abuse feels like a nice way to explain this crime considering he damaged me so much mentally, not just physically.

    I am trying to briefly describe this crime, however this crime went on for years and I don’t think words can fully understand how degrading, embarrassing and humiliated I felt, and so alone because I feared for my mother’s safety. I lived a nightmare that I cant just turn off anytime I want.

    I am mentally scarred beyond repair, no matter how much love and therapy I am given I still can’t turn off this nightmare off in my head. This has affected my trust in men and destroyed multiple relationships. My self-confidence/self-esteem is very low.

    I feel like people judge me and look at me differently and not in a good way, I feel disgusting. I take antidepressants for this currently today, and the older I get , the more I’m feeling the need for more therapy and/or something to help my depression. I can’t be around crowds, especially with multiple males around and because of this I can’t even maintain a job without having a mental breakdown.

    I am currently on disability struggling to make ends meet. I always think about how my life would be if I didn’t have a father who sexually abused me. I know I need help still to this day, I just can’t make these horrible thoughts go away.

    I definitely need more therapy. I am very short tempered at times and I hate this feeling. My father took away my confidence and destroyed my life. I am sorry if this doesn’t feel like a brief description of the crime, but in my eyes I have so much more I could write about. I wish I could erase my memory completely, but unfortunately I can’t. I feel tired and drained.

    I was so afraid from the age of 15 to the age of 24 when he was FINALLY convicted of this crime. ..the crime of destroying my chances of living a normal life, living on a disability check and food stamps was not my intention when I was a little girl and dreaming of becoming someone important and special. I feared he wasn’t going to get convicted and come after me and try to kill me or my mom like he said he would do.

    I don’t know if I could live with myself knowing that I was responsible for my mother’s murder because I finally got the strength and courage to do something about this. I am still fearful that when I’m 44 years (he will be eligible for parole) he could be granted his freedom. I’m fearful for my life as well as my mother’s.

    I’m tired of this fear! I don’t think there is a price tag on what I would give to be free of this fear, or a price on having my life back, or being raised by a normal father. This is about as brief of a description of this life taking crime I can give.

  3. KAF says:

    I was subjected to ongoing child abuse at the hands of my mother from the age of 2 into adulthood. It was pervasive, physical, emotional, and torturous. My life is ruined, I have had LONG ONGOING symptoms and my ACES score is high. States include Texas, Alaska, and Utah. I would like restitution.

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