IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 28, 2019
Mr. Cornyn (for himself and Ms. Hassan) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
To amend the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to require training and education to teachers and other school employees, students, and the community about how to prevent, recognize, respond to, and report child sexual abuse in primary and secondary education.
This Act may be cited as the
Jenna Quinn Law.
Congress finds the following:
One in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18.
Forty-five percent of sexual assault victims are under the age of 12.
According to the Department of Education, more than 4,500,000 students are subject to sexual misconduct by a school employee sometime between kindergarten and twelfth grade.
Research shows that school personnel identify 52 percent of child abuse cases, more than any other profession or organization type.
Ninety percent of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser.
Most child sexual abuse can be prevented through education combined with a comprehensive set of prevention policies.
Studies show that after educators were trained in child sexual abuse prevention and reporting, they were about 4 times more likely to report than they were prior to such training.
Two-thirds of teachers do not receive training in preventing, recognizing, or responding to child sexual abuse, either in their college coursework or as part of their professional development.
Ninety percent of children who are sexually trafficked were first sexually abused as children.
More than half of sexual assault incidents happen within 1 mile of the victim’s home.
The average lifetime cost per victim of child abuse is $210,012, totaling an estimated $150,000,000,000 annually nationwide. These expenses are largely paid for by the public, including through costs to the criminal justice system, child welfare systems, special education and health care costs, and productivity losses.
Each State has a reporting statute related to child abuse and neglect, which range from statutes that require every adult to report suspicions to statutes setting forth a minimal list of categories of individuals or circumstances that trigger a mandatory report.
The silent epidemic of child sexual abuse should not be limited to reporting requirements after the abuse has already occurred. It is imperative that students of all ages, school leaders, teachers and other school employees, and other adults who work with children in a professional or voluntary capacity have a fundamental understanding of child sexual assault prevention training and policies.
Educational development and training
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act is amended by inserting after section 103 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 5104) the following:
Educational development and training
The Secretary may make grants to eligible entities to provide training on child sexual abuse awareness and prevention for students, teachers and other school employees, mandatory reporters, caregivers, and other adults who work with children in a professional or voluntary capacity for the purpose of compliance with State laws that mandate child sexual abuse education in school-based settings, or in the case of a State in which there is no such mandate, providing such training.
To be eligible to receive a grant under this section, an entity shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including information demonstrating that the entity—
has partnerships with local educational agencies for the purpose of providing training described in subsection (a);
uses evidence-based or evidence-informed methods to identify and prevent child sexual abuse;
will disseminate free training materials to the community; and
has a demonstrated ability in the field of child welfare, including with respect to child sexual abuse cases, which may include providing direct services to victims of child sexual abuse or providing child sexual abuse prevention training or education.
Use of funds
An entity that receives a grant under this section shall use the funds made available through the grant to establish or implement evidence-based or evidence-informed child sexual abuse awareness and annual prevention programs or activities, such as programs, training, or activities designed to provide—
age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate instruction for students in child sexual abuse awareness and prevention, including how to recognize child sexual abuse and how to safely report child sexual abuse;
training for teachers and other school employees, and other mandatory reporters and adults who work with children in a professional or volunteer capacity, including training on how to recognize child sexual abuse and how to report child sexual abuse; and
information for parents and guardians of students about child sexual abuse awareness and prevention, including how to prevent, recognize, respond to, and report child sexual abuse and how to discuss prevention strategies for child sexual abuse with a child.
Preference for child abuse professionals
In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall give preference to entities that have demonstrable work in the field of child welfare, including child sexual abuse cases, providing direct services to victims of child sexual abuse, or prevention training or education.
Grants to States for child abuse or neglect prevention and treatment programs
Clause (i) of section 106(b)(2)(B) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. 5106a(b)(2)(B)) is amended by inserting
recognize and after
an individual to.
Section 107(b) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. 5106c(b)) is amended—
in paragraph (4)—
in subparagraph (A), by striking
and at the end; and
by adding at the end the following:
support training by experts in the prevention of child sexual abuse, for teachers and other adults who work with children in a professional or volunteer capacity, to recognize child sexual abuse and exploitation, and report suspected and known incidents of child sexual abuse or neglect in accordance with State law; and
in paragraph (5), by inserting before the period
and the training described in paragraph (4)(C).
State task force study
Section 107(d) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 5106c(d)) is amended—
in paragraph (1), by striking
; and and inserting
in paragraph (2), by striking the period and inserting
; and; and
by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:
evaluate the State's efforts to implement the training recommendations in each of the categories described in subsection (e).
Section 202(3) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. 5116a(3)) is amended—
in subparagraph (C), by striking
; and and inserting
in subparagraph (D), by striking the period and inserting
; and; and
by inserting after subparagraph (D) the following:
will develop partnerships with local educational agencies, local community agencies, or any other nonprofit group that is an eligible entity described in section 103A(b) to provide training to students, teachers, and other adults who work with children in a professional or volunteer capacity, on recognizing child sexual abuse and exploitation and reporting suspected and known incidents of child sexual abuse or neglect in accordance with State law.
Section 204 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. 5116d) is amended by striking paragraph (9) and inserting the following:
a plan for providing operation support, training, and technical assistance to community-based and prevention-focused programs and activities designed—
to strengthen and support families to prevent child abuse and neglect for development, operation, expansion, and enhancement activities; and
to educate students and train teachers and other school employees, and other adults who work with children in a professional or volunteer capacity, to prevent and recognize child sexual abuse;
Local program requirements
Section 205(a)(1) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. 5116e (a)(1)) is amended by inserting
location educational agencies after
local nonprofit organizations.
Section 3 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. 5101 note) is amended—
by redesignating paragraphs (6) through (8) as paragraphs (7) through (9), respectively; and
by inserting after paragraph (5) the following:
the term local educational agency has the meaning given such term in section 8101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801);