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14 Liberty U. L. Rev. 317 (2019-2020)
Helping #ChurchToo Abuse Victims Hold Religious Entities Accountable in Civil Cases

handle is hein.journals/lunlr14 and id is 329 raw text is: ARTICLE

HELPING #CHURCHTOO ABUSE VICTIMS HOLD RELIGIOUS
ENTITIES ACCOUNTABLE IN CIVIL CASES
Peter B. Jancit
I. INTRODUCTION
Ending child sex abuse is the most effective action we can take to improve
the human condition on earth.* I have spent the last thirteen years working
towards that aspiration-representing hundreds of individuals who were
sexually abused as children in cases against institutions of trust. Despite
helping clients attain some significant successes in cases involving other
institutions of trust, I remain deeply concerned about the epidemic of child
sexual abuse that has gone largely unaddressed within the Protestant world.
This problem has continued quietly for decades (and probably centuries).
Through my work, I have seen first-hand the profound and lasting impact
that child sexual abuse in the church context has on survivors. Though
imperfect, the moniker of survivor1 is fitting in many ways, as the lives of
those who have been sexually abused as children are forever marked and
t PETER B. JANCI is an attorney and Partner at Crew Janci LLP - a law firm advocating for
victims of sexual abuse in cases against institutions of trust around the country (and
sometimes beyond). Mr. Janci has had the honor of representing hundreds of survivors of
sexual violence over more than a decade in practice. He has represented clients in litigation
against notable religious organizations (i.e., the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church, the
Seventh-day Adventist Church, etc.), as well as civic organizations (i.e., the Boy Scouts of
America, Boys and Girls Club, etc.), schools and universities (public and private), and other
youth-serving organizations. Mr. Janci also regularly litigates against Protestant churches,
denominations, missionary organizations, and parachurch entities. In 2010, Mr. Janci served
as part of the Plaintiff's trial team in Kerry Lewis v. Boy Scouts ofAmerica-a child sexual abuse
trial in Portland, Oregon that resulted in a $19.9 million verdict for the Plaintiff and the release
of many of the Boy Scouts secret files on known pedophiles. Mr. Janci has regularly appeared
in local and national media, including in, the New York Times, the Associated Press, the Los
Angeles Times, and others. Mr. Janci graduated magna cum laude from Wheaton College (IL)
and took his Juris Doctor cum laude from Northwestern College of Law at Lewis and Clark
College. Mr. Janci is admitted to practice in Oregon, Washington, and New York. Mr. Janci
wishes to thank his colleague and law clerk, Zach Pangares (Seattle University School of Law
JD Candidate 2021), for his assistance with this article.
*. This quote is attributed to advocate Monique Hoeflinger. I was introduced to this quote
by a tremendous advocate for the eradication of child abuse named Randy Ellison, author of
BOYS DON'T TELL: ENDING THE SILENCE OF ABUSE (2011).
1. Throughout this article I use the terms survivor and victim largely interchangeably.
By these terms, unless stated otherwise, I simply mean one who has suffered abuse. There are
differing preferences among those who themselves have suffered such abuse.

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