National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, but the law school’s Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation (CEASE) Clinic is committed year-round to increasing awareness and education on human trafficking, making resources available to assist individuals and communities impacted by human trafficking, and building diverse public-private partnerships to support a more comprehensive response to prevent…

CEASE Clinic at The Summit

CEASE Clinic Staff Attorney Brian Atkinson and Social Work Advocate Jocelyn Crumpton recently led a workshop at The Summit, a statewide, multi-disciplinary conference designed for child welfare professionals to share best practices and collaborate across professions. This year’s Summit was attended by 650 individuals working in child welfare – case managers, lawyers, judges, policy makers,…

CEASE Director Emma Hetherington Testifies Before U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law

“My statement is not meant to disparage the individual case managers and other professionals working for Georgia DFCS who are protecting children in Georgia. However, DFCS’s overarching structure, internal policies, and administrative barriers obstruct their good work, and when this happens, our clients experience extreme harm.” On Wednesday, October 25, CEASE Clinic Director Emma Hetherington…

CEASE Featured in Advocate Magazine

The Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation (CEASE) Clinic’s work has been featured in Advocate Magazine, the official online magazine for the University of Georgia School of Law. Since opening in January 2016, the CEASE Clinic has served more than 200 survivors of sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking. The Advocate article highlights some of the…

CEASE Director Emma Hetherington Featured on The Children’s Law Podcast

Clinical Associate Professor and CEASE Clinic Director Emma Hetherington was interviewed for The Children’s Law Podcast, explaining why she thinks a huge barrier to effectively serving survivors of child sex trafficking is that stakeholders don’t fully understand what trafficking is. Hetherington discusses how children’s circumstances and behaviors need to be examined differently when exploitation and…

CEASE Clinic Director and Legal Intern Publish “Trauma-Informed Legal Representation for Youth in Sexual-Abuse-to-Prison Pipeline”

CEASE Clinic Director Emma Hetherington and Legal Intern Copelenn McMahon (’23) published “Trauma-Informed Legal Representation for Youth in Sexual-Abuse-to-Prison Pipeline” along with School of Social Work Assistant Professor Allison Dunnigan in the American Bar Association’s Committee on Children’s Rights Litigation Newsletter. The article discusses how legal systems and stakeholders often criminalize behavioral trauma responses of…

CEASE Clinic Secures $1.1 Million Verdict for Client

Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation Clinic Staff Attorney Brian Atkinson and second year student Jessica L. Davis secured a $1.1 million verdict for their client after a three-day trial in Rockdale County, Georgia. The court found that the defendant, who was the clinic’s client’s stepfather, committed acts of child molestation to, with and in the presence…

Atkinson & Hetherington Publish Chapter on Child Trafficking in NACC’s Newest Edition of the Red Book

CEASE Clinic Staff Attorney Brian Atkinson and Director Emma Hetherington’s chapter “Child Trafficking” was recently published in the newest edition of Child Welfare Law and Practice: Representing Children, Parents, and Agencies in Neglect, Abuse, and Dependency Cases, commonly referred to as the “Red Book”. “Designed initially as a study guide for attorneys preparing to take…

Brian Atkinson Testifies Before Georgia House Subcommittee

CEASE Clinic Staff Attorney and Lead Litigator Brian Atkinson testified before the Georgia General Assembly House Judiciary Non-Civil Subcommittee on March 21, 2023 about the possible detrimental effects of Senate Bill 36 on child survivors of sexual exploitation and trafficking. SB 36 would change the pimping and pandering offenses from a misdemeanor to a felony…

CEASE Student Publishes on Affirmative Defenses for Sex Trafficking Victims

Third-Year law and CEASE student Copelenn McMahon (’23) recently published a blog post for the Georgia Law Review Online titled The Need for an Affirmative Defense for Victims of Sex Trafficking in Georgia. McMahon writes, “An affirmative defense of trafficking victimization would allow survivors charged with crimes to establish the interrelationship between the criminal conduct…