Campus News

Conference to spotlight advocacy for survivors of child sexual abuse

The University of Georgia School of Law’s Wilbanks Child Endangerment and Sexual Exploitation Clinic will host a conference Jan. 26 and 27 focusing on interdisciplinary advocacy for survivors of child sexual abuse. The conference is open to the public.

Event discussions will focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and holistic, trauma-informed services for survivors of child sexual abuse, according to Emma Hetherington, the clinic’s director.

“The conference will explore collaboration between lawyers and social workers and also partnerships with journalists, law enforcement and other stakeholders,” she said. “Advocates for survivors of child sexual abuse must work together to promote healing and seek justice.”

The two-day conference will feature a keynote address by state of Maryland Delegate C.T. Wilson, who is known for his strong advocacy in the areas of child sexual abuse and statute of limitations reform. Wilson was featured in the Netflix documentary series The Keepers for his sponsorship of a state bill that raised the age by which survivors can sue from 25 to 38.

“As the first law school clinic in the nation to provide representation to survivors of child sex abuse in civil litigation and juvenile court dependency proceedings, the Wilbanks CEASE Clinic is uniquely positioned to respond to emerging local, state and national events, such as the #MeToo movement,” Hetherington said.

The conference will feature a panel examining the intersection between journalism and legal advocacy in the USA Gymnastics child sexual abuse lawsuits. The event will also include panels exploring mandated reporting laws and how agency partners can work together to better identify cases of child sexual abuse and best practices in providing legal and therapeutic services for children who have experienced commercial and sexual exploitation.

For more information on the conference, visit All attendees are asked to register. Attendance for UGA faculty, staff and students is free. The cost for non-attorneys is $20, and the cost for attorneys seeking continuing legal education credit for 7.5 hours, including 3 trial hours, is $40.