Justice Denied : What America Must Do to Protect its Children
There is a silent epidemic of childhood sexual abuse in the United States and a legal system that is not effectively protecting children from predators. Recent coverage of widespread abuse in the public schools and in churches has brought the once-taboo subject of childhood sexual abuse to the forefront. The problem extends well beyond schools and churches, though: the vast majority of survivors are sexually abused by family or family acquaintances with 90 percent of abuse never reported to the authorities. Marci A. Hamilton proposes a comprehensive yet simple solution: eliminate the arbitrary statutes of limitations for childhood sexual abuse so that survivors past and present can get into court. In Justice Denied, Hamilton predicts a coming civil rights movement for children and explains why it is in the interest of all Americans to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse this chance to seek justice when they are ready.
- Electronic book text
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
'Too many 'talk the talk' of making children a priority in society. What Hamilton has done with her book is to show a clear and simple way that policymakers can 'walk the walk' ... [she] clearly and articulately connects the value of using civil law as a tool to protect children.' Ted Thompson, Executive Director, NAPSAC (National Association to Prevent the Sexual Abuse of Children) 'This brave book is one all lawmakers should read.' Jason Berry, Author of Lead Us Not Into Temptation 'In understandable, eloquent prose, Marci Hamilton makes the case for abolishing a statutory scheme that protects sexual predators and which closes our courtrooms to maltreated children. Although it is too late to claim the honor of having acted quickly to address this injustice, this book shows us how to avoid the disgrace of having never acted at all.' Victor Vieth, Director, National Child Protection Training Center 'Hamilton is absolutely right: a vigorous and effective children's civil rights movement is long overdue ... I applaud Marci Hamilton for leading the way with her outstanding legal scholarship, advocacy and passion for justice!' Eileen King, Regional Director, Justice For Children 'Hamilton provides a compelling case that demonstrates that the interests of insurance companies, unions, churches, and schools will always trump the safety of children unless we do something about it. Hamilton tells us what we can do, how to do it, and why it will work.' Charol Shakeshaft, Chairperson and Professor, Department of Educational Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University 'Professor Hamilton combines genuine sensitivity to the plight of survivors of childhood sexual abuse with in depth expertise in the working of the legal system.' Barbara Bennett Woodhouse, Director, Center on Children and Families, University of Florida 'A powerful call to action by one of America's leading constitutional scholars. Marci Hamilton makes clear what must be done if we are to prevent the continued sexual abuse of children.' Jeff Dion, National Center for Victims of Crime '... Hamilton tackles the issue head-on but in language that is clearly written and not full of unnecessary legalese ... I encourage you to read Hamilton's book.' Diane Shea, Bucks County Courier Times 'Professor Marci A Hamilton, a law professor at Cardozo School of Law, has written a strong and well researched book ... a must-read for lawyers who have represented victims or, as Professor Hamilton refers to them, survivors, of sexual abuse.' Herbert J. Friedman, The Nebraska Lawyer 'Justice Denied is about one of the most horrendous offenses against children short of murder: child sexual abuse ... The author paints a vivid and shocking picture of child sexual abuse which should disavow the attitudes of those who think it's limited to sinister looking street denizens in dirty trench coats ... Marci Hamilton's book is short and to the point. Its last sentence sums up the book and the cause: 'It is an either/or choice: we can either protect the predators or the children.' This book concludes with the hope that it will be so for the right of children and their parents to live in a society without fear of sexual assault.' Thomas P. Doyle, Author of Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse 'Argues for removing states' statutes of limitation for cases of child sexual abuse ...' Chronicle of Higher Education '... an impassioned plea to lawmakers and the 'uniformed public' (p. 108) to tackle the problem of child sexual abuse in the United States ...' Harvard Law Review
Table of contents
1. We have failed our children; 2. What is wrong with the system; 3. The solution is clear and simple: abolish the statutes of limitation for childhood sexual abuse; 4. What it will take to act on the lessons learned; 5. Barrier no. 1: the insurance industry; 6. Barrier no. 2: the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church; 7. The other barriers: the teachers, the defense attorneys, and an uninformed public; Conclusion.