Litigating Child Sex Abuse Cases: Interviews and Initial Procedures
Created on June 17, 2021
For decades, sexual abuse scandals involving authority figures in religious organizations, sporting associates and educational institutions has made front page news. Authority figures such as priests, teachers, correctional officers, and athletic coaches have access to young vulnerable populations. Parents and guardians trust that they can leave their children with authority figures in our most respected institutional systems. In fact, parents themselves are often conditioned from their own childhood to cede power to community leaders, church officials, and members of respected professions and trades. Abusive authority figures exploit that trust given to inflict sexual, physical, and psychological trauma on children.
Practitioners who do not regularly handle cases involving the abuse of children can successfully litigate these cases through combination of thoughtful interview skills and collaborative case development.
For example, the interview of an adult or child traumatized by sexual abuse is not a one-time event. Instead, practitioners should allow the recall of events surrounding abuse to unfold over the course of several discussions. For young witnesses, it is helpful to allow time to build trust and familiarity during the early stages of the case.
In the practitioner's guide to litigating child sexual abuse cases, Judie Saunders, Esq., will provide a general overview of the interview process, complaint drafting, and potential landmines practitioners should avoid to achieve the best results for clients.
Discuss specific interview considerations that should be given to survivors of sexual, psychological, and physical trauma
Overcome societal bias, victim shaming, and failure to disclose issues
Review the most common causes of actions and liable parties attorneys should include in sexual abuse complaints
Guide practitioners through representing competitive youth athletes abused by coach and the failure to act by national governing bodies and other sporting associations
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