Virginia: Sexual Abuse – a Lawyer’s Child

Virginia: Sexual Abuse – a Lawyer’s Child

Washington Lawyer is the official monthly publication of the District of Columbia Bar. Mr. Waterman has been an active member in good standing of the D.C. Bar from 1995 to present.

The cover story in its June 2012 issue is “Beyond the Penn State Scandal: Child Abuse Reporting Laws”. That lead article about child sexual abuse includes the following sub-topics: A Culture Divided, Frightening Statistics, Society Mobilized, Mandatory Reporting, False Accusations, Call for Tougher Laws, Public Reluctance, Fostering Culture of Openness, and National Awareness Campaign. Id. at 22-30.

Toward helping such sexual crime victims, “We need to change the norm of silence and standing by to one of openness and engagement,” proclaims the President and Chief Executive of Prevent Child Abuse America. Id. at 25. Yet there is a countervailing fear: “The concern is that if everyone is a mandatory reporter, and if we get the public so enflamed, they may start seeing child abuse everywhere,” observes Thomas I. Hafemeister, Associate Professor specializing in health care law and policy at the University of Virginia School of Law. Id. at 26.

Under D.C., Virginia and other laws, in additional to being criminal, sexual abuse is actionable civilly for monetary damages. Mr. Waterman represents such crime victims.