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California Legal Blog For Victims Of Abuse

Today is a sad though redemptive day for many sex abuse victims

This day has been long in coming, with many victims of sexual abuse suffered as children likely wondering whether it would ever come at all.

It promises to be both heartbreaking and uplifting.

Time bar key factor in juvenile sex case against famed director

If you're a reader interested in factual disclosure and justice being realized in child sex abuse cases, you undoubtedly know something about Roman Polanski.

To many people, Polanski is simply known as an acknowledged master in the craft of movie directing. He is linked with many acclaimed films and still remains active in his industry at the age of 84.

Clergy abuse survivors see parallels with Hollywood scandals

Child sexual abuse survivors must deal with years of personal healing. Victims may have flashbacks to their own past experiences when stories of sexual misconduct by powerful industry figures surface in the news. As so many allegations occur in Hollywood, adult victims of clergy member sexual abuse see strong parallels.

A number of Catholic Church priests have been charged with child sexual abuse around the state and nation. A landmark lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego a decade ago reached a $660 million settlement, and was one of many to come. According to U.S. News & World Report, survivors of clergy abuse are seeing how their own experiences connect to recent accounts in Hollywood.

Must a California adult who knows of child sexual abuse report it?

Here's a sad hypothetical that unquestionably plays out in real life across California and elsewhere on a regular basis.

And it can be presented in just these few words: An adult who strongly suspects that another party is sexually abusing a child does not report it to authorities.

Can a sexually abused child be forced to sign a secrecy agreement?

When it gets right down to the core essentials of an explosive story garnering national headlines that focuses on child sexual abuse, the central question is what we pose above in today's blog headline.

Secrecy agreements are commonly executed in the United States, especially in employer-worker relationships. Also known as nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), such contracts cite penalties that will be imposed against individuals who subsequently breach their terms by publicly speaking up about some contractually covered matter .

Cardinal's passing reminder of church sexual abuse cover up

A leading Catholic Church official has just died in Rome. Cardinal Bernard Law was the long-time head of the Boston Archdiocese, supervising material affairs for more than 360 churches serving two million-plus parishioners.

Law was ousted from his position in 2002 following disclosures concerning his inadequate investigation and punishment of known pedophile priests. He was subsequently appointed to high offices in Rome. He passed away in that city yesterday.

Court pressure on noncompliant church in sex abuse matter increases

A "recalcitrant litigant."

That is how a California appeals court judge terms the response offered up by the Jehovah's Witness church to a judicial demand to turn over internal organizational documents in a child sex abuse matter.

Time Magazine's Person of the Year: the nominee might surprise you

Unlawful sexual activity carried out by individuals -- often powerful players in their various industries -- who have long felt sheltered against public disclosures and liability has unquestionably come under a strong spotlight in recent years.

We reference that welcome scrutiny in a recent blog post at the victims' advocacy Law Offices of Joseph C. George, Ph.D. And we note in our December 4 entry that, notwithstanding the sudden upsurge in victims coming forward to courageously identify perpetrators and seek justice, "sexual assault has always been an issue" in California and across the country.

How parents can help keep their kids safe from assault

With the recent media focus on sexual assault, it may feel like sexual assault is getting worse. The truth is that it has always been an issue in the entertainment industry, in schools, in the church and communities throughout California.

Perpetrators are already close to their victims more often than not. It is estimated that 90 percent of child sexual abuse cases are perpetrated by someone the child already knows. If a child does experience sexual assault, there are legal steps that parents can take. However, parents should know that there are some measures they can take now to help keep their children safe from assault.

Sex abuse problem noted: special prosecutorial team formed in LA

One former Los Angeles prosecutor says that, while it is "a good idea," people "shouldn't get their expectations up."

What that commentator is addressing is the recent announcement that Los Angeles County will establish a special task force of government attorneys to examine entertainment industry-based allegations of sexual assault and related crimes.