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WV Lawmakers receive Task Force report on Child Sex Abuse

January 12th, 2018 by WCBC Radio

West Virginia lawmakers earlier this week received the report of the State Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children, and leaders are promising to act on the report’s recommendations to better protect children from sexual abuse. The Joint Committee on Education reviewed and heard presentations related to the task force’s report on Tuesday. House Education Committee Chairman Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson, and Senate Education Committee Chairman Kenny Mann, R-Monroe, also serve as co-chairmen of the task force.

 

“Since 2015, this 23-member task force has logged many hours of research and heard from victims, experts and professionals about how we can better protect, identify and help children who are abused,” Chairman Espinosa said. “They focused on ways to improve adult responsibility and child empowerment, and we hope to work swiftly to implement their recommendations.”

 

“Knowing that one in every 10 children will be a victim of sexual abuse before they turn 18 is a sobering statistic, and we must do everything we can to help these kids,” Chairman Mann said. “I was pleased that Gov. Jim Justice made this a priority in his State of the State speech, and look forward to passing legislation that can combat this.”

 

The task force was created in 2015 following the passage of House Bill 2527, named “Erin Merryn’s Law” after a child sexual abuse survivor and native West Virginian who has championed similar laws across the nation. The 23-member task force is made up of representatives from the legislative, executive and judicial branches, as well as teachers, principals, sexual abuse survivors and other advocacy groups. 

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