The Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation (CEASE) Clinic is the first of its kind in the nation, representing survivors of child sexual abuse in juvenile court dependency matters and civil litigation. The clinic not only provides direct representation to survivors, but also serves as a teaching center as part of the University of Georgia School of Law.
Welcome to the Wilbanks CEASE Clinic
Our mission is to provide direct legal services to our clients in a supportive, professional environment as well as to educate and prepare the next generation of lawyers to represent survivors of child sexual abuse. As a resource center for survivors and attorneys who are seeking these claims, we form part of a movement that seeks justice for all survivors of child sexual abuse.
HB 17 Hidden Predator Act
In July of 2015, Georgia passed HB 17, also known as the Hidden Predator Act, which provides a two-year window to revive civil cases that were previously barred under the old statute of limitations. This window allows survivors of child sexual abuse, who were previously locked out of the courts due to the old statue, to finally seek justice and demand reparations in court. For claims arising out of sexual abuse occurring after July 2015, survivors can bring suit until age 23 or within 2 years of the discovery of the abuse and the resulting harms.
The CEASE clinic reports that only one case has been tried to verdicts under the Hidden Predator Act’s briefly open window: The award was small, but the sense of justice for the survivor was big.
Congratulations to the Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation Clinic for the successful resolution of the first case tried to verdict under Georgia’s Hidden Predator Act. The legislation created a two-year window of relief from the statute of limitations for bringing civil charges in cases of child sexual abuse. The case was tried in the Paulding County Superior Court earlier this month.
CEASE Clinic Director Emma Hetherington was featured on the Penn Law Group's blog, commenting on recent legislation in Georgia that would change the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse civil claims.