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Hofstra Law Review

Abstract

This Article examines the appropriate role of attorneys as gate­ keepers to the courts in suits involving recovered memories of child­ hood sexual abuse. Lawsuits brought by adults claiming that they had been sexually abused during childhood, but had forgotten the abuse until it emerged sometime later, are a relatively recent phenomenon. They surfaced only after the "discovery" of childhood sexual abuse and its construction as a social problem in the 1970s and 1980s and became feasible only when the legal system responded by extending the statutes of limitations applicable to such cases. Although many highly­ publicized cases have involved multiple victims who are young boys (in cases of sexual abuse by clergy, for example), others present the archetypal incest situation, shrouded in silence and involving a single, intra­family victim.

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