Ohio attorney John Fitch of The Fitch Law Firm LLC is a victims rights advocate. His work includes representation of victims of sexual abuse.  Mr. Fitch is also dedicated to promoting the education of the public with respect to issues pertaining to personal injury and sexual abuse law in order to promote safety and increased awareness of risks that exist to the general public.

With these principles in mind, The Fitch Law Firm is honored to offer a one-time, non-renewable scholarship of $2,000.00 to one college student who wins The Fitch Law Firm Sexual Abuse and Assault Victim Scholarship Essay Contest.


In order to be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be:

  • 18 years of age or older at the time of the essay submission;
  • enrolled in a college or university in the United States at the time of the award;
  • in good academic standing with your college or university; and
  • a legal resident of the United States.
  • A victim of sexual abuse and/or assault

Essay Topic

For victims of sexual abuse, do you believe that sexual abuse is a mere “emotional injury” that does not rise to the level of a catastrophic injury? Should the law limit the rights of victims of sexual abuse (including limiting amounts for pain and suffering in a lawsuit), discuss why or why not?

Example Case:

Under Ohio law (each state is different), monetary awards for pain and suffering are limited (ie :a damage cap), in most cases, to $250,000.00 (out of which the victim may pay tens of thousands of dollars in litigation and attorney fees). There is no exception for intentional misconduct. Therefore, the law protects those who sexually abuse others (and those who enable them) from paying a jury determined monetary award for pain and suffering. In December, 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court (Justice French, majority opinion) found the law (R.C. 2315.18 (B)) constitutional. See Simpkins v. Grace Brethren Church 2016 Ohio LEXIS 2961. In Simpkins, the Ohio Supreme Court also held the victim was entitled to one damage cap, even though there were two distinct crimes: vaginal and oral sexual battery. Readers are invited to review the Ohio law, the parties’ briefs, and the Ohio Supreme Court decision on the firm’s website.

Merit Brief of Appellants
Merit Brief of Appellee Grace Brethren Church of Delaware Ohio
Reply Brief of Appellants
Ohio Slip Opinion
Ohio Compensatory Damages Statute 2315.18

Essay Guidelines

All essays should be 1000-1500 words in length and should be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format.

Applicants are *not* required to be an Ohio resident to apply or win the scholarship.

By submitting your essay to The Fitch Law Firm, you grant all copyright ownership of the essay to The Fitch Law Firm and give permission to the law firm to post your essay (or portions thereof) on The Fitch Law Firm’s website with your name and the name of your school, and permission to share your essay (or portions thereof) on all social media and any and all marketing materials of the law firm, or otherwise made publish the essay.  The Fitch Law Firm may publish all essays (or portions thereof), including name of the student, and name of school.

Please submit original content only as plagiarism will result in the disqualification of your application.

***Essays will be checked by appropriate software to prevent plagiarism.***

Application Submission

Please submit the following information to The Fitch Law Firm:

  • Essay in Word or PDF format;
  • Your name and contact information;
  • Proof of age and US legal residency (i.e. birth certificate, driver’s license, or passport, but do not submit your social security number);
  • Proof of enrollment in a college or university in the United States from your school’s registrar’s office.

Your personal information (i.e. birth certificate, driver’s license, or passport) will not be shared with anyone. However, as discussed above, your name, your essay and the name of your school may be posted on the law firm’s website and/or social media, or otherwise made public.  There are no fees associated with applying for the scholarship.  The winner of the scholarship may be required to send a photo that may be posted on the law firm’s website. PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE LAW FIRM.

Please submit your application to: scholarship@thefitchlawfirm.com

You may also submit your application by mail to:  The Fitch Law Firm, 900 Michigan Ave, Columbus, OH 43215

Deadlines and Payment of the Scholarship

The deadline to submit your application is:  May 31, 2019.

The winner of the scholarship will be announced no later than June 1, 2019.

A one time, non-renewable scholarship in the amount of $2,000.00 will be made payable to the student.