The D.C. Council is moving forward with legislation that would hold many more adults liable for failing to report the sexual abuse of a child.
Council members have given preliminary approval to the bill. It would require anyone older than 18 to immediately alert the police or Child and Family Services if they know or have reason to suspect that a child is being abused. Those who don't would face a fine of up to $300.
The bill also expands existing automatic reporting requirements for teachers, government workers and counselors who work with children. They would face a higher penalty for failing to report abuse.
The bill must be voted on a second time before it can be signed by Mayor Vincent Gray.