Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates
When adults are held accountable in the court system, we keep kids safer now from abuse and prevent future abuse from occurring. We applaud the House Judiciary Committee for passing Senate Bill 137, which addresses abuse and protects future victims by giving judges the option to allow testimony from a trustworthy adult to whom a child has disclosed abuse.
While a child may be comfortable disclosing abuse to a teacher or coach, recalling the abuse throughout the court process could bring back fear or trauma that clouds their testimony. Fear and inability to testify in court should not prevent a judge from hearing accurate information about a child’s experience. SB 137 takes a reasonable and measured approach – as has been done in other states – to give courts more complete picture of a child’s experience. Kids deserve to have their story heard and justice to be served.
Thank you Senator Whitney Westerfield for championing this measure to protect children from future abuse and allow their stories to be told. We also thank Chairman Joe Fischer and members of the committee for their support of this important measure.
SB 137 is a priority of the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children and Kosair Charities’ Face It movement to end child abuse.
Stay up-to-date on Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priorities and other bills that are good for kids on our Kentucky General Assembly Bill Tracker.