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.
Georgia Law is excited to announce its first annual Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation Conference on Saturday, January 28, 2017. Conference registration includes 5 CLE credits (including 1 ethics hour), a light breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack. Registration also includes a ticket to the premiere of a short documentary on survivors of child sex abuse and the court system, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and dessert reception.
Meredith Gardial (JD '16) joins the Wilbanks CEASE Clinic as its first Post-Graduate Fellow. Over the course of the twelve-month fellowship Meredith will assist CEASE Clinic Director Emma Hetherington (JD '11) in litigating cases on behalf of surivors of child sex abuse. Meredith will not only be instrumental in advancing the clinic's mission of assisting survivors, but also in training the next generation of attorneys interested in working with survivors.
The Wilbanks CEASE Clinic was featured in the Spring 2016 issue of the Journal of the Georgia trial Lawyers Association. The featured story is on page 39.