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Florida Law Spurred by Penn State University, Sandusky Child Sex Abuse Scandal Takes Effect

October 2nd, 2012   No Comments   Abuse, Advocacy

From the horrific child sex abuse, personal injury, damages and personal liability stemming from the Penn State University and Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal comes Florida’s abuse reporting law. Considered among the most stringent in the country, the new Protection of Vulnerable Persons law requires that anyone suspecting a child has been the victim of abuse must report their suspicions to the state Abuse Hotline (1-800-962-2873 – or 911 if the danger is immediate). Formerly, only if the suspected abuser was a parent or caregiver was reporting required.

This is a good change – one advocates, attorneys and guardians hope will keep at-risk children free of sexual or physical abuse. For far too long, we’ve operated under the false impression that abuser were those closest to the children. Sometimes, as we learned with Sandusky and Penn State, the abuser may be a trusted individual- but still not family or a caregiver.

“This law will help ensure all allegations of a child being harmed are immediately investigated by the appropriate agency,” David Wilkins, Department of Children and Families Secretary, said. “Reporting child abuse is our moral and legal obligation.”

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