Senator Henry Stern’s Bill to Protect Child Victims of Sexual Violence Heads to Governor’s Desk
Measure providing assistance to forgotten victims of abuse moves forward after receiving bi-partisan support in the Senate and Assembly
SACRAMENTO –State Senator Henry Stern’s SB 756, which would provide restitution for mental health services to young sexual abuse victims, now heads to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk to await his signature after receiving unanimous approval from members of both the State Assembly and Senate.
In 2014, 15 victims were molested by their soccer coach in LA County and last year several of the victims were unable to receive restitution. Right now, there are over 400 pending cases in LA County alone that could be eligible for restitution under SB 756.
“Our kids deserve better. Victims of sexual violence are being denied justice under our current system,” remarked Senator Stern.
Co-sponsored by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office (LADA) and the Crime Victims Action Alliance and supported by law enforcement, SB 756 closes a loophole in the law that prevents many young victims of sexual assault from receiving restitution that would cover mental health services necessary to treat psychological trauma.
“The children we are talking about have suffered some of the most heinous crimes imaginable,” said Jonathan Hatami, Deputy District Attorney with the Complex Child Abuse Section of the LADA. “These are victims who go on to suffer from reoccurring nightmares, difficulty sleeping, an inability to maintain a job or complete their education; it takes them a lifetime to recover and we, as a society, should do everything we can to help them.”
“With SB 756, the perpetrator will be directly responsible for paying noneconomic restitution directly to child victims so they can receive therapy and emotional support,” concluded Mr. Hatami.