Montgomery County State Representative Kate Harper says Pennsylvania prosecutes fewer child sex abuse cases than many other states, and she believes it’s because too many cases go unreported. She says state law needs to clarify who’s required to report it, and probably expand the list.
“In some states everybody is required to report, and in many the list is longer than it is in Pennsylvania, but let’s go a little bit further. We have a bill in our committee now that would require teachers, as part of their continuing education, to take a course in child sexual abuse and knowing that the signs are. We currently don’t require that. We require the teachers to report, but we don’t tell them what to look for.”
Harper chairs the House Children and Youth Committee, which is considering the bill. She says she has learned through her committee that many teachers don’t even know where to report child sexual abuse, and we should do a better job overall of preventing, detecting and prosecuting it. She appeared Wednesday on the WNPV talk program Legally Speaking.