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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 4, 2019 09:45 AM
From: Representative Mary Jo Daley
To: All House members
Subject: Jenna's Law
Child abuse in any form is a heinous act.

Since the adoption of reforms to the Child Protective Services Law 5 years ago, the number of reported and proven cases of neglect, exploitation, physical, mental or sexual abuse of a child has increased dramatically.

The changes to the law have improved reporting, investigations, and data collection to better identify victims of child abuse and their perpetrators, but we can do more to help our kids identify the signs of child abuse and let them know where they can go if they are a victim.

Recently, I was contacted by Jenna Quinn, a survivor of child sexual abuse who has been sharing her story and using it to promote the need for schools to adopt an age-appropriate curriculum on child sexual abuse. In 2009, Texas adopted “Jenna’s Law,” named for Ms. Quinn, which requires school districts to educate students, teachers and parents on the signs of child sexual abuse. A few years later, both Oregon and Kentucky adopted Jenna’s Law. A similar law, known as Erin’s Law, has been adopted by 35 states.

Thanks to the hard work of the Child Protection Taskforce and the bipartisan effort of the General Assembly, more incidences of child abuse are being reported and children who were once silently suffering are now being protected.

While this has been an excellent first step, I believe it is time that we act to better educate our children on the signs of child sexual abuse in order to give them the tools and knowledge to avoid becoming victims. Please join me in supporting the adoption of age-appropriate sexual abuse education curricula in our schools.

Introduced as HB669