Better Protection for Child Victims of Repeated Abuse

calendarTwo bills filed in the Kentucky legislature, Senate Bill 60 sponsored by Senator Whitney Westerfield and House Bill 109 sponsored by Representative Joni Jenkins would permit courts to accommodate a child’s memory of repeated abuse, known as a continuous course of conduct.

Here are 3 reasons why SB 60 and HB 109 would better protect child victims of repeated abuse:

  1. Currently, Kentucky courts require detailed information for a jury to agree on at least one specific incident of child abuse to find the accused guilty. Continuous course of conduct allows a jury to find child abuse was committed repeatedly over time based on a child’s more general testimony about a pattern of abuse.
  2. Young children can often remember individual events but have difficulty with overlapping memories, meaning they may find it hard to remember the date on which a specific event occurred.
  3. Accommodating a child’s more generalized testimony of abuse recognizes the effects age and trauma can have on a child’s memory.

Review the Continuous Course of Conduct fact sheet here.

UPDATE: 

HB 109 passed the House in January and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Take action by contacting your Senator.

SB 60 passed the Senate in January and is awaiting a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. Take action by contacting your Representative.

 

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