Tuesday, November 12, 2019
The Liberty University Law Review hosted its 12th annual Law Review Symposium on November 1, 2019, in the law school’s Supreme Courtroom. This year’s symposium was the most heavily attended in the Law Review’s history, boasting 141 attendees. The event focused on the issue of child abuse and the church and featured speakers from across the nation.
Law Review members selected this year’s topic because of its particular relevance at this point in history. A number of years ago, the three companies that insure a vast majority of Protestant churches disclosed that they had received approximately 260 reports per year of minors being sexually abused by church leaders or members. More recently, an investigative report published by the Houston Chronicle identified over 700 victims of sexual abuse within Southern Baptist churches during the past twenty years. The troubling reality is that the real numbers of those who have been abused within the Church are much higher due to underreporting and the manner in which such information is collected and determined. The systemic sexual abuse of children is not limited to any one faith or denomination, but tragically pervades all of Christendom. This year’s symposium focused on educating and equipping attendees on many of the key issues related to sexual abuse within the broader faith community by utilizing the various perspectives of experts who are serving on the front lines in combatting this evil.
This year’s panel included the following speakers: Peter Janci, a victim’s advocate and partner at a law firm in Portland, Oregon, that brought cases against large national organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church; Laura Dunn, a nationally-recognized expert on Title IX and campus sexual assault, 2018 TED Fellow, and victim’s rights attorney; Pearl Kim, a 2018 congressional candidate and former special victims prosecutor who secured the first human trafficking conviction in Pennsylvania; and Jimmy Hinton, a full-time minister who collaborates with neuroscientists and focuses his research and training on the deception techniques of skilled abusers who molest children in plain sight.
Upon conclusion of the speaker panel, Professor Basyle Tchividjian presented speakers with a fact scenario to discuss. Professor Tchividjian asked each speaker a question about the fact pattern that focused on their area of expertise.
To find out more about Liberty University School of Law and the Law Review organization, please visit our website.