Andrea Bennett

Statement by Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates

We appreciate the House Judiciary Committee’s passage of two important bills for Kentucky children today.

SB 60, sponsored by Senator Whitney Westerfield, will better protect child victims of repeated abuse. Many children who have experienced repeated abuse over time, referred to as a continuous course of conduct, have difficulty remembering the details of each specific incident of abuse. Research tells us that a child develops the ability to accurately describe the “what” years before they are able to convey the “when” as they recount a memory. This bill would accommodate a child’s more generalized testimony when a tragedy of repeated abuse occurs. It takes into consideration how age and trauma impact a child’s memory. We thank Senator Westerfield for sponsoring this bill and Representative Joni Jenkins for championing similar legislation.

We also applaud the committee for taking action to support safe and healthy homes for children and families with HB 380 sponsored by Representative Jim Glenn, which makes the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act (URLTA) cover all Kentucky communities. Creating a standard for rental housing would promote housing stability for families while also protecting responsible landlords.

We commend the House Judiciary Committee for standing up for Kentucky children with the passage of these Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priority bills and look forward to seeing them move forward on the House floor.