Considering the Therapeutic Consequences of Recent Reforms to Civil Statutes of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse Claims
15 Charleston L. Rev. 639 (Spring 2021)
26 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2022
Date Written: November 17, 2021
This Article seeks to examine recent reforms in civil statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse claims under the lens of therapeutic jurisprudence. Therapeutic jurisprudence centers on the idea that, under certain circumstances, the law can serve as a therapeutic agent. In recent years, an onslaught of scholarly articles have argued that survivors of child sexual abuse need greater access to the civil justice system, giving rise to the necessity for statute of limitations reform. While some research has explored whether civil tort lawsuits involving child sexual abuse can serve as a therapeutic agent for survivors, whether recent trends in statute of limitation reform and the process in which reform occurs may have therapeutic or antitherapeutic consequences for survivors has yet to be examined. Part I of this Article will discuss child sexual abuse and why survivors may turn to the civil justice system. Part II will provide a brief overview of therapeutic jurisprudence and how the civil legal process may lead to positive psychological and therapeutic outcomes for survivors of child sexual abuse under certain circumstances. Part III will explore whether recent statute of limitations reforms for civil child sexual abuse claims and the legislative process in which those reforms come to fruition may have therapeutic or antitherapeutic consequences for survivors.
Keywords: therapeutic jurisprudence, child sexual abuse, tort, statute of limitation, legislative process
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