Mikulski Pushes For Stronger Child Abuse Reporting Laws | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Mikulski Pushes For Stronger Child Abuse Reporting Laws

Play associated audio

In the wake of recent high-profile child sex abuse scandals, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) is exploring whether to set a tough national standard for reporting child abuse. 

Lawmakers are looking to strengthen laws after recent allegations surfaced that Penn State coaches and administrators knew children were being molested on campus, yet didn't report the incidents to the proper authorities. As a former social worker, Mikulski has seen child neglect cases firsthand. 

"This senator takes the position that no institution should ever be too big to report, or too famous to report, and no adult should ever feel that they're protected because of the brand that they represent," Mikulski says.

Mikulski heads the Senate health committee's subcommittee on children and families, which is considering whether to tighten federal laws against child abuse. Members held a hearing on the issue Dec. 13.

 States such as Maryland don't currently impose criminal penalties if caregivers fail to report abuse, which Mikulski says makes the laws "unenforceable." 

She points out that victims are often abused a second time if the crime isn’t taken seriously. "If you see something, if you know something, then report it," she says. "If you see something, do something." 

Witnesses at the hearing also urged lawmakers to focus on training educators, coaches and caregivers to prevent and report signs of abuse.  

NPR

How Tinseltown Got Tipsy: A Boozy Taste Of Hollywood History

Mark Bailey, who detailed old Hollywood's legendary love affair with liquor in his book Of All the Gin Joints, shares stories from a bygone era over cocktails at a legendary Hollywood bar.
NPR

Want To Enhance The Flavor Of Your Food? Put On The Right Music

Researchers at the University of Oxford have discovered a link between what you taste and what you hear.
NPR

North Korea Has An Interesting Offer. And Another Threat

The secretive regime denies any involvement with the Sony Pictures hack and says the U.S. must allow it to help find the real culprit. Or else.
NPR

Hollywood Pros Fear A Chilling Effect After Sony Bows To Hackers

Some in the entertainment industry are wondering if they'll have to be careful now about the stories they tell or the jokes they make in the wake of Sony's withdrawal of The Interview.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.