ASWT Authors Article on Sexual Assault and Harassment for CAOC Forum Magazine

Managing Partner Mike Arias, Senior Associate Sahar Malek, Senior Paralegal Assal Badrkhani, and Legal Assistant Madeline Heyman of ASWT authored an article regarding Sexual Assault and Harassment for CAOC Forum magazine’s November/December 2022 Issue. The article delves into “Abuse of Power: the historical evolution of institutional sexual assault from a litigation perspective”. 

Some key takeaways from the article include that no matter the institutional setting, findings show that common patterns exist, which in turn can serve as a useful guide on how to identify key failures and ultimately prove institutional liability. A “playbook” for concealing the truth is also identified and brought to light within the article used by many institutions but most notably the church. The “playbook” describes the mishandling of sexual assault cases that is not at all unique to the institutions that follow its components. Furthermore, the article empathizes with the victims and survivors who are dedicated to the idea that their stories “should bring about change in the very systems that failed them”. 

The responsibility of a single plaintiff’s case is mentioned in the article as “potentially having the power to hold an entire institution accountable for their actions”. Litigators understand their role and/or stance in negotiating settlements and demanding institutional accountability, rejecting abuse of power, and seeking to prevent further victimization through policy changes and training programs. To read the full article click here.