Assembly Passes Cooley’s Legislation to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse | Crime
On Wednesday, January 29, the Assembly passed on a bipartisan 76-0 vote, Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s legislation to prevent child sexual abuse. Assembly Bill 883 (AB 883) helps protect California’s children by creating a pilot program in up to three counties to specifically address child sexual abuse prevention.
Although the state aggressively prosecutes child sexual predators and requires mandated reporting for suspected abuse, there is a lack of focus on preventing the abuse before it occurs.
“Childhood sexual abuse is devastating to the victims and the victims’ family,” said Cooley. “Often, children who are sexually abused have physical and mental health issues long into their adult lives. By putting resources at the local level into community collaboration and prevention, we have the chance to make a difference in the lives of California’s children before they become victims to sexual abuse.”
AB 883 creates and funds an optional pilot program in no more than three counties, designated by DSS based on the agency's determination that the county has significant incidences of child sexual abuse or sexually exploited minors and has a public, private, or nonprofit organization with experience in child sexual abuse issues that is designated to act as the primary administrator for the pilot program. Qualified pilot programs, working where possible with existing private and public programs and providers, must prepare a multi-year plan to address child sexual abuse in the community. These multi-year plans will emphasize community collaboration and education, training on identifiable risks and warning signs, local prevention plans, and data collection and measurement.
“Nearly a half million cases of suspected child abuse are filed in California every year — and these are just the reported cases,” said Sheila Boxley, of the Child Abuse Prevention Center. “It is critically important that resource providers have the funding they need to protect children from abuse. Small investments now can save lives and lead to millions in savings down the road.”
Assemblyman Ken Cooley represents the 8th Assembly District which includes the communities of Arden-Arcade, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Murieta, Rosemont, Wilton and other portions of unincorporated Sacramento County. For more information, please visit http://asmdc.org/members/a08/