Two 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.