2 Aug 2008

The Child Victim's Act of Delaware: Expert panel to discuss law, answer questions


State's child abuse law becomes model

Read the News Journal article.

On Aug. 5, an expert panel will review the effect of the first year of Delaware's landmark 2007 legislation, the Child Victim's Act. The panel will also look forward to helping victims of child sexual abuse understand and consider using the civil window created last year by Delaware's General Assembly.

The Child Victim's Act eliminated the civil statute of limitations for the sexual abuse of children and created a two-year window for the filing of claims in Delaware Superior Court. The civil window period ends on July 10, 2009.

Marci A. Hamilton, author of "Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect its Children," points out that "... [sex offender] registries, GPS tracking, and longer sentences are all good ideas that make meaningful contributions to child safety, they do not get to the heart of the most serious problem we have: We don't know who most of the predators are." Hamilton has argued that the civil window is the single-most- effective legislation for uncovering the identities of the most dangerous among us: child predators.

Survivor/advocate Matt Conaty, founder of the Child Victim's Voice coalition, and a member of NAPSAC's board of directors said, "Sadly, due to the prevalence of this heinous form of crime, we are all connected to someone who has suffered childhood trauma. This event design to help Delawareans learn more about how to protect the children of today and tomorrow by exposing as many predators as we can in a court of law."

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse and safe friends and family are encouraged to attend the event, which will also feature a Question & Answer period.

Tuesday, August 5, 7 p.m.
Free and open to the public

Bernard and Ruth Siegel Jewish Community Center
101 Garden of Eden Road Wilmington, DE 19803

Five leading experts on Delaware's civil window and similar laws nationwide, including:

* Marci A. Hamilton, a law professor and author of 'Justice Denied'

* Charles F. Gallagher III, Deputy District Attorney of Philadelphia,

* Joelle Casteix, SNAP's Southwest Regional Director and Survivor/advocate

* Vicki Polin, MA, LCPC, NCC, ATR-BC - Founder/Director, The Awareness Center and survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

* Valerie C. Marek, LCSW, CADC, executive director of Survivors Of Abuse in Recovery, Inc. (SOAR).

Presented by National Association to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Children in partnership with The Awareness Center, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and Child Victim's Voice.

For more information, please send an e-mail to
info@childvictimsvo ice.com.

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