May 24, 2018

Senator Young Helps Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Victims of Child Abuse

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) today joined Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Chris Coons (Del.), co-chairs of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, and U.S. Representatives Ted Poe (Texas) and Jim Costa (Calif.), co-founders and co-chairs of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus, to introduce bipartisan legislation (S. 2961) to reauthorize the Victims of Child Abuse Act (VOCAA). The VOCAA provides funding for Children’s Advocacy Centers that serve child victims and help law enforcement hold perpetrators accountable.

“Nothing is more evil or unthinkable than the harm of a child,” said Senator Todd Young. “We must ensure justice and healing for those children who are the victims of abuse. Supporting Children’s Advocacy Centers is one way we can help protect the victims of this terrible crime.”

Children’s Advocacy Centers employ a multi-disciplinary team of trained professionals to conduct forensic interviews of children who have been victims of abuse. These interviews are designed to be admissible in court while also preventing children from being re-traumatized by having to tell their accounts multiple times. Use of Children’s Advocacy Centers leads to faster criminal charging decisions in sexual abuse cases, increased felony prosecutions of child sexual abuse, and lower average per-case costs.

“The Children’s Advocacy Centers in Indiana, as well as the 24 Indiana Children’s Advocacy Centers thank Senator Young for his leadership in championing abused and for joining his colleagues in introducing the Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization Act of 2018. This critical piece of legislation is the corner stone of the CAC movement, and is the only federal program solely dedicated to developing CACs and improving the services provided to kids that have been abused. By reauthorizing and updating the Act, Congress once again demonstrates it believes and values the effectiveness of the CAC model in helping abused children,” said Jan Lutz, Director of Indiana Children’s Advocacy Centers (INCACS), the Indiana Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance.

In addition to Senators Young, Blunt, and Coons, original Senate cosponsors include U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (W. Va.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Mike Rounds (S.D.), Deb Fischer (Neb.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Bob Casey (Pa.), and Mazie Hirono (Hawaii).  And, in addition to Poe and Costa, original House cosponsors include Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Bruce Poliquin (Maine), Anthony Brown (Md.), Eric Swalwell (Calif.), Luke Messer (Ind.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), Ann Kuster (N.H.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Ann Wagner (Mo.), Theodore Deutch (Fla.), and Debbie Dingell (Mich.).