February 28, 2008  ·  Lessig

As some of you know, I helped the victim of child abuse win a pretty big victory in the New Jersey Supreme Court establishing clearly the right of victims to hold institutions responsible for abuse. As some of that some of you know, that led to the revelation that I too had been abused at the same school. (See also “Living with Ghosts“).

Both somes mean I now get email from victims of sex abuse all the time, asking for help in finding a lawyer. I have done what I can, but I don’t begin to have the right resources to identify good lawyers or other professionals to help these victims.

I realize, loyal blog reader, that this is beyond your usual scope. But if you could spread the word to others you might know, I’d be grateful. At this moment, I’m looking for someone good in Missouri. But again, I’d like to build a database with good recommendations beyond that. I’m not looking for a lawyer referral services, of which there are many, and many of which are very well run. I’m looking for one step beyond that — people who have experience in this field who have actually worked with others whose work they respect highly.

Please send any recommendations to advice4victims@pobox.com. Thanks.

  • http://www.hownottotalk.com/abuse Geoff Brown

    Getting people who know about child abuse to “pick up the phone” is indeed a key part of stopping child abuse. In fact, state laws require “mandated reporters” (such as teachers, doctors and social workers) to report any “reasonable suspicion” of child abuse. But when are such suspicions reasonable? Unfortunately, many teachers — who could be our eyes-and-ears for detecting child abuse — are confused about how to talk to a student with signs of child abuse. A new online role-playing course aims to change that obstacle. It lets teachers rehearse a conversation with a possible child abuse victim, getting expert feedback about what they say (and how they say it). There’s a free trial version (120+ pages) and a CEU-credit version. Hopefully it will help more teachers to fulfill their role as mandated reporters more effectively — and to pick up the phone.

  • HH

    With all due respect, when is the mighty intellect and powerful eloquence of Lawrence Lessig going to get coupled to a program of effective change? In the last few months, we have seen a grand declaration of a decade-long war on corruption, a spasmodic and aborted attempt at a congressional campaign, continuing attention to CC issues, and compassionate peripheral involvement in child abuse issues.

    Hundreds of very capable people are waiting to follow Professor Lessig in a campaign aimed at significant, observable reform. A key principle of business is knowing what business you are in. It is time for LL to make some choices and identify the issue(s) on which he must concentrate his and our efforts if he is to make an historic contribution.

    I make these criticisms with a deep admiration for LL’s work and great optimism regarding his potential. If America is to recover the spirit of the founders, men like LL will lead that renaissance. At this point, it is more important for LL to commit to lead any concerted, concentrated, progressive effort than to continue circling targets of opportunity in gadfly fashion.

  • http://www.bathingape.com.au bape

    Please keep up the good fight. I will keep my eyes and ears open and spread the word for you.

  • http://xmlhacker.com/ M. David Peterson

    @HH,

    With all due respect, what does your question have to do with the content of this post? Did you even read the post before writing your follow-up?

  • http://blog.veni.com Veni Markovski

    Larry,
    I’ve spread the word around friends in the US.
    Please, when starting Change Congress (is it by accident that it has the CC for Creative Commons in the title?), make sure your manifesto is well done and written. Don’t hurry, as Mr./Ms. HH advises you above.
    If I like your ideas, I will join your efforts, so don’t disappoint me!

  • http://culturekitchen.com Liza Sabater

    Lawrence,

    I had no idea about the outcome!
    Congrats!

    / liza

    Liza Sabater, Publisher
    http://culturekitchen.com
    http://dailygotham.com

  • http://www.thelamplighters.org Margie McKinnon

    I’m the founder of The Lamplighters, a movement for survivors of child sexual abuse, incest, sexual assault, rape and domestic violence. We currently have 33 chapters in 22 states, a chapter in Tokyo, Japan, two in Ontario, Canada and one in Plymouth, England. We need an army. Our website is at http://www.thelamplighters.org. I too am a survivor. My father raped me when I was 13 and all 3 of my daughters are survivors as well; the two older girls were sexually molested by my 2nd husband (and when confronted, 6 weeks before he died, he admitted to it but said it was their fault – they were 4 and 5 years old) my youngest daughter was raped at gunpoint when she was 17. This problem is not only epidemic it is multi-generational. Children of an untreated incest victim stand a 5 times greater chance of being a victim themselves. Please spread the word about The Lamplighters. If you or anyone you know could start a chapter (it’s free, it’s easy and it could change your life) please have them email me at margie@thelamplighters.org.

  • http://lacreshahayes.weebly.com Lacresha Hayes

    I love what you are seeking for. I, myself, am planning quite a few things to influence lawmakers. It is unfortunate that the law goes much too easy on statutory rape, with or without the child’s consent. Thankfully, my book plowed the way before me. So, I’m going to follow it wherever it may go. If you know of any great attorneys, activists, etc in the states of AR and LA, please let me know.

    If I find anyone as you described, then I’ll let you know. Deal?

  • http://maxpages.com/sexualabuse Byron Prior

    A family was destroyed as young children by Incest, Child Rape and Abuse of every kind in a small town of 2500 people. Supreme Court Judges, Politicians and RCMP are in a position of ” Conflict of Interest” and pay a hooker, their mother, to keep quiet, in this case of Child Rape, Incest, Abuse and Legal System Persecution in Newfoundland. Their names and why are evident on Harrietts Customer List at this Website; http://maxpages.com/sexualabuse