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Clergy Sexual Abuse; Violence Against Children Act 2006 (VACA) - URGENT!

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Message Debby Bodkin
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If you are reading this commentary, fate has intervened. Believe it or not, agree or disagree, as a society we have failed to protect hundreds of thousands of individuals who have been sexually abused by those in positions of trust and authority.

We have a chance to support justice and take corrective action. The Violence Against Children Act 2006 (VACA) is now before our elected government leaders. Without the passage of this new legislation, victims of sex abuse crimes will be left without resources, left alone to face a lifetime of emotional, physical and mental disabilities, without resources and due process.

As a country, we are fighting a war against terrorism, constantly evaluating the laws that protect our environment and screaming from mountain tops that the United States of America is a free country, that all persons are granted equality, free from discriminations.

Unfortunately, we forgot and/or allowed Freedom of Religion and other abuses of the legal system, to interfere with the administration of justice and who suffered? Children and vulnerable adults who were sexually abused and because they lacked resources, were denied administration of justice, free from intereferences.

The passage of VACA, the Violence Against Children Act of 2006 will return justice and peace to the U.S. and to the world. What is VACA?

The Violence Against Children Act of 2006

Purpose: To better protect children from childhood sexual abuse, to better inform and warn the people of sexual predators who prey on children, and to better ensure that perpetrators and those who facilitate such abuse are deterred and punished.

(1) Establishment of an easily accessible national register of those who have been convicted of the crime of childhood sexual abuse, or related crimes, and of reported civil cases involving claims of childhood sexual abuse. [The Relevant Federal Department/Agency/ Department of Justice] shall create and maintain a database of information on all persons in the United States convicted of or charged with crimes of childhood sexual abuse, which will be funded by Congress on an annual basis with an amount sufficient to make the database comprehensive and easily available and accessible to the public, including:

(b) information on the identity of those who are convicted of crimes of childhood sexual abuse.

(c) information on pending charges or indictments involving crimes of childhood sexual abuse.

(d) tracking of interstate movement of persons convicted of childhood sexual abuse crimes, including the transportation of underage girls for the purpose of marriage and statutory rape.

(e) a register of all civil cases filed involving charges of childhood sexual abuse.

(3) Conditions on federal spending for health to encourage states to enact legislation necessary to protect children from childhood sexual abuse. The effects of childhood sexual abuse cost the United States health care system millions every year. States that do not deter childhood sexual abuse through reasonable statutes of limitations on criminal prosecution and civil liability are adding to the burdens already placed on federal health funding. The Secretary shall withhold ___ per centum of the amount required to be apportioned to any state under [relevant sections dealing with health and welfare funding, including Medicare and Medicaid] on the first day of each fiscal year immediately following a year in which the state has not enacted the following minimum provisions necessary to ensure basic protection of children against abuse:

(b) abolition of statutes of limitations under state law for all criminal prosecution and all civil claims arising out of incidents of childhood sexual abuse;

(c) retroactive abolition of statutes of limitations under state law for a minimum of two years for all civil claims arising out of past incidents of childhood sexual abuse, to be effective through at least X years from the date of enactment of this act;

(d) mandatory reporting by all professionals, including clergy, of any personal knowledge of child abuse gained within the scope of their employment; and

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As an amateur writer, mother, wife and legal secretary for the past 25 years, my passion for the courage of clergy sex abuse victims, their families and mandated reporters, who made a choice to protect children, before their own career security and (more...)
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