Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates
Children rely on the adults in their lives to keep them safe. A bill to allow information that a child shares with a trustworthy adult to be considered for testimony in court moved one step closer to being signed into law today with its passage in the full Kentucky House. We applaud the Kentucky House for their continued commitment to protecting children with the passage of Senate Bill 137.
While a child may be comfortable disclosing abuse to a teacher or coach, some children aren’t able to testify in court due to fear or trauma. 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 measured approach to give courts a more complete picture with information the child discloses, as other states have done. Kids deserve to have the information considered by the court.
SB 137 will protect children from future abuse and allow the information they share to be heard. Thank you to Senator Whitney Westerfield for championing the bill and to Representatives Joe Fischer, Jason Nemes, Adam Koenig, and Tim Couch for their support on the House floor. SB 137 is a priority of the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children and Kosair Charities’ Face It movement to end child abuse.
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.