Delayed Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, The Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing, and Eliminating Statutes of Limitation for Child Sexual Abuse Cases

46 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2021

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

The number of victims of childhood sexual abuse can only be estimated, but more and more have found the courage to step forward as adult survivors and report their abuse. The passage of time between the events and the disclosures raises problems for the legal system to negotiate, but many jurisdictions have expanded the time limitation requirements allowing additional years for victims to initiate legal remedies. The recent confirmation hearing of Justice Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court drew the public’s attention to the phenomenon and created a wide array of opinion about the credibility of Dr. Blasey Ford, a Stanford faculty member who claimed to have been sexually assaulted in high school by Mr. Kavanaugh. Understanding the recorded routine delays involved in reporting incidents of sexual abuse — sometimes decades after the event — can inform the legal system’s response by eliminating statutes of limitation that restrict legal options for these victims, and thus crafting solutions or legal options for many who might otherwise remain unheard and traumatized.

Keywords: child sexual abuse, child abuse, criminal procedure, law and psychology, law and psychiatry, statutes of limitation, civil procedure, law reform

Suggested Citation

Katner, David R., Delayed Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, The Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing, and Eliminating Statutes of Limitation for Child Sexual Abuse Cases (2020). 47 American Journal of Criminal Law 1 (2020), Tulane Public Law Research Paper No. 21-5, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3891808

David R. Katner (Contact Author)

Tulane University - Law School ( email )

New Orleans, LA 70118
United States
504-865-5153 (Phone)

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