Senator Kip Bateman’s (R-16) legislation requiring witnesses of child sexual abuse to immediately report it to the Division of Child Protection and Permanency has been signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy.
Sen. Kip Bateman’s legislation requiring witnesses of child sexual abuse to immediately report it to the Division of Child Protection and Permanency has been signed into law on March 18, 2019. (WikiMedia)
Bateman originally introduced the bill in 2011 in the wake of the Penn State football scandal. Recent attention was brought to the legislation when multiple videos were made public of top New Jersey teacher union officials discussing their efforts and willingness to conceal teacher sexual misconduct.
“Anyone who witnesses child sex abuse has to speak up immediately. Silence is not an option,” Bateman said. “Mandating immediate reporting will help survivors get justice as soon as possible, and help ensure the perpetrators quickly face the full wrath of the law. ”
Bateman’s bipartisan bill, S-641, requires that sexual abuse against a child be directly reported to the Division of Child Protection and Permanency. It also makes failing to report an act of sexual abuse a crime of the fourth degree.
“From the Penn State football scandal to the undercover videos exposing officials conspiring to sweep sexual assault claims under the rug, it’s a sad reality that sometimes people don’t do the right thing, even when a child’s life is in jeopardy,” Bateman added. “This law will save children from perpetual abuse, hopefully giving them a chance to heal and have a successful life.”
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