My husband (now ex husband) was arrested for domestic assault after pushing me so hard my head hit and broke a table. I didn't press charges at the time because I was afraid of him and under duress from his constant threats, emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse. Years later I was diagnosed with severe and complex PTSD. I've been in treatment and now finally have a voice. Can I press charges now even though it happened 6 years ago?

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    Deadlines for filing vary greatly between countries and states. Some have no statute of limitations at all, while many would have a statute of limitations of less than six years for this offense. Duress or fear of a victim are irrelevant to criminal statutes of limitations, and unlikely to receive much consideration even in a contemplated action for civil damages. In practice, it is unlikely that a prosecutor would be willing to prosecute such a stale case, even if the statute of limitations has not run in the relevant jurisdiction. – ohwilleke Jul 4 '19 at 15:10

You can make a complaint to the police: they will decide if they want to investigate the matter.

Depending on which country/state you are in there may be a statute of limitations that means they cannot take action. Notwithstanding, unless there were witnesses apart from him and you this would be an extremely difficult case to get a conviction as there is unlikely to be any physical evidence or contemporaneous records - for this reason, the police may choose not to investigate.

  • If the attacker was arrested, there will probably be records of that (but not necessarily medical records etc) - but I agree that a conviction may be difficult. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Jul 4 '19 at 13:05
  • @Dale M - I doubt witnesses matter at this point. This doesn't seem to be a "huge" incident - a push and no medical report? Any witness to this, given the timeline wouldn't be deemed as impartial by a good police officer or prosecutor. Not sure what the point is here other than revenge. I have had some abusive ex's... I would rather not see them again. – blankip Mar 30 '20 at 18:21
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    @blankip and if there were 312 witnesses? Notwithstanding, there are plenty of people in jail on 30+ year old testimony from a single witness the jury believed. – Dale M Mar 30 '20 at 20:20

Given the state you are in most states limit (domestic) assault filings between 18 months and 5 years. Also unless your husband admitted guilt there really isn't much the police or prosecutor can do without hard video evidence, even if you were within statute.

As for civil matters PTSD caused by another person is a really serious accusation. There are cases where people have won judgments but these were people brutally abused for years and kidnapped and so on. It sounds that your husband had a temper and there was some abuse but you are relying on one incident that you didn't even press charges on. You could certainly consult a lawyer and if a lawyer took your case on contingency then maybe you move forward.

I would not advise you to start paying a lawyer though as a means of extracting money from your husband based on what he did to you in marriage. There are two things here. First most civil courts understand that most family courts are still more apt to side with women on custody and separation agreements. And second the fact is this should have been brought up during your divorce proceedings and used to discuss splitting of assets and possible future alimony. The fact that you bring this up in addition to your divorce hearings is kind of double dipping in the courts.

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