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John Rafferty Speaks on New PA & NJ Laws for Survivors of Child Sex Abuse

John RaffertyContinuing his public presentations on childhood sex abuse, Gawthrop Greenwood attorney John Rafferty presented “New Laws Open the Doors for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse.” The virtual Continuing Legal Education course for fellow attorneys was hosted by Jenkins Law Library on August 25, 2020 and focused on how child sex abuse laws have changed since December 2019. Key takeaways included:

  • The challenges survivors face, including making a report to police that is acted upon and filing a claim prior to the cutoff of the statute of limitations
  • Reasons to extend the statute of limitations (SOL)
  • SOL changes in New York, Washington and California
  • SOL changes in New Jersey, including damages and special civil action window
  • In-depth examination of SOL changes in Pennsylvania, including changes as of November 2019 and the possibility of special civil action window
  • Evidentiary challenges including proof of assault(s) and showing the damages
  • Legal challenges including credibility, failures to report, conflicting accounts and age
  • Male survivors
  • Mental health challenges
  • Recent case studies, including in California, Minnesota, Georgia, Massachusetts and Connecticut
  • What to do when you have no witnesses, no physical evidence and no reports to state, federal and social services
  • Pursuit of civil damages

READ MORE in John’s December 2019 article, “New Jersey & Pennsylvania Light a Beacon for Survivors of Child Sex Abuse.”

WATCH MORE as John interviews with NBC10 News on “Major Changes in Local Child Sex Abuse Laws.”

While he served as a prosecutor in the Child Abuse Unit of the Chester County District Attorneys’ Office, John Rafferty protected children who experienced sexual trauma. As a civil litigator at Gawthrop Greenwood, PC in West Chester, PA, John and the firm’s Litigation Department help adults recover damages for the traumas they experienced as children. He can be reached at or 610-696-8225.

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Gawthrop Greenwood, PC has offices in West Chester, PA and Wilmington, DE serving clients throughout the greater mid-Atlantic region and nation. For more than a century, the firm has stood behind its core principle of providing high-quality legal services with personal attention. Gawthrop Greenwood’s diverse portfolio of clients comprises entrepreneurs, businesses, and governmental entities that entrust the firm with their representation in a wide range of matters including mergers and acquisitions, commercial litigation, estate and tax planning, land use and development, and domestic relations. A complete listing of the firm’s practice areas and attorneys, as well as a variety of legal resources, can be found at

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