Secrecy is an ally of sexual violence. For decades, victims of sexual abuse have remained silent about their experiences. The recent emergence of the #MeToo movement in the aftermath of the scandals surrounding movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and television personalities Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly raises larger questions about whether employers are partly to blame because of the widespread use of non-disclosure agreements in settlements. The movement, while exposing the magnitude of the problem, also makes it clear that silencing victims’ speech means that sexual violence will never truly be settled. This Note argues that non-disclosure agreements in cases of sexual assault and sexual harassment should be heavily regulated, both by using content-neutral checks on the enforcement of these pernicious contracts and through legislative action that holds the abusers and their lawyers accountable.
Vasundhara Prasad, If Anyone Is Listening, #MeToo: Breaking the Culture of Silence Around Sexual Abuse Through Regulating Non-Disclosure Agreements and Secret Settlements, 59 B.C.L. Rev. 2507 (2018), https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bclr/vol59/iss7/8