By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Wednesday, August 13, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama released a written statement after President Barack H. Obama signed into law a bipartisan bill led by Sen. Sessions to protect children who are victims of abuse.
The House unanimously approved the Victims of Child Abuse Act which was first introduced in December by Sen. Sessions along with sponsors Sens. Chris Coons (D) from Delaware, Mazie Hirono (D) from Hawaii, and Roy Blunt (R) from Missouri.
Sen. Sessions’ said in a written statement after passage by the House, “I am pleased that the House passed the Victims of Child Abuse Act. Protecting our nation’s children is a high moral duty and full Congressional passage of this legislation is recognition of that fact. As a former prosecutor and Attorney General, I have seen firsthand the dramatic impact Children’s Advocacy Centers have played in providing the necessary resources to aid victims of child abuse and investigate these incredibly serious crimes. I am proud that the first Children’s Advocacy Center was founded in Huntsville and that there are now 800 nationwide. This bill is an important step to ensure the most vulnerable children receive the care and support they deserve. I am grateful to my colleagues, Senators Coons, Hirono, and Blunt for their commitment to this effort.”
Senator Coons said, “We have no greater obligation than to protect our children from trauma and abuse. When the unthinkable happens, Children’s Advocacy Centers are there to help families heal and obtain justice for victims. These centers have transformed our nation’s response to child abuse by giving law enforcement the tools to secure critical evidence without re-traumatizing child victims. The unanimous passage of this bill by both houses is a testament to the important role Children’s Advocacy Centers play in communities all across the country. Our children’s needs transcend party politics, and I’m grateful to my partners on both sides of the aisle for working with me to pass this vital bill.”
Senator Hirono said, “I am glad that my colleagues in the House came together to vote for the Victims of Child Abuse Act. This bipartisan bill is critical to give all keiki, or children, the best possible start in life by providing protections for those who are victims of violence and abuse. One of our greatest obligations as a nation is to care for our young, so I was pleased to join with Senators Coons, Blunt and Sessions to pass this important legislation.”
Senator Blunt said, “We’re fortunate to have 22 Children’s Advocacy Centers in Missouri that provide a safe haven for approximately 7,000 child abuse victims in our state each year. I’m pleased the House passed this important bill today, and I urge the President to sign it into law quickly so we can continue to provide these centers across the nation with the tools they need to care for our most vulnerable children and hold perpetrators accountable.”
Sens. Sessions and Coons published a recent joint op-ed entitled “Congress Must Stand Up For Victims Of Child Abuse And Reauthorize Children’s Advocacy Centers” which appeared in the Huntsville Times highlighting the importance of this legislation.
President Obama signed the legislation into law earlier this week. The bill is one of a very few that have passed both the House and the Senate in this very divided Congress.