Give Children in Maryland a Voice
BCAC Advocacy Update
In early June, Executive Director, Adam Rosenberg and Legislative Coordinator, Kim Sauer met with Maryland’s federal legislators to discuss the importance of Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs), like Baltimore Child Abuse Center (BCAC), and the role they play to address child abuse and neglect. In the months to come, we will host several open houses, inviting our federal legislators and their staff members to visit BCAC and see, firsthand, the services we provide to families.
The 2016 legislative session was a success! “Erin’s Law,” sponsored by Delegate Eric Luedtke, was signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan, mandating age-appropriate education in schools about sexual abuse and assault for all students in Maryland. This legislation is vital to keeping kids safe from sexual abuse and assault. We are now working with a state task force led by the Maryland State Department of Education to begin the development and implementation phase of this legislation.
Delegate Brook Lierman and Senator Susan Lee sponsored “Alicia’s Law,” which was signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan as well. This legislation designates funding for CACs in Maryland. CACs are an integral member of investigative agencies that address internet crimes against children. This steady funding stream will allow agencies to focus more on services provided to victims and families.
Major leadership changes are coming in November, not only in the Mayor’s office, but with our City Council. We are working to build strong partnerships with the fresh faces that will begin serving our city in November.
BCAC is starting to prepare for the election in November and the 2017 legislative session. We meet frequently with our community, agency, and legislative leaders to build partnerships and raise awareness.
We are in the beginning stages of planning a Lobby Day for the 2017 legislative session. We plan to invite the community to join us in Annapolis to bring awareness around the issue of child sexual abuse. Stay tuned and contact Kim to get involved.
At Baltimore Child Abuse Center, we advocate on behalf of children. We give child victims of abuse a voice and feel that they should be heard in the ongoing domestic violence and sexual assault conversations with the NFL.
What About Kids? This is a question we seem to always find ourselves asking. Why aren’t children’s voices heard on a national scale? Why are children so often overlooked in conversations regarding domestic violence and sexual assault?
Child abuse is just as much a problem as domestic violence and sexual assault; it is also a separate one. With more than 3 million reports of child abuse made in the United States involving more than 6 million children each year, the issue is worth public conversation, especially in light of the recent Adrian Peterson case.
We think it’s fantastic that the NFL has come out in opposition of domestic violence and sexual assault, post-Ray Rice. The airing of #NoMore campaign ads, featuring celebrities and NFL superstars during NFL game times is a tremendous step toward raising public awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault. We wholeheartedly commend the NFL on these efforts. But, once again, we’re brought back to this pervasive question: What about kids?
It’s time for children to be heard.
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