4 results for month: 01/2018


Victory in Congress!! House Passes Major Civil Reform for Child Victims 406-3

The House today passed legislation drafted by Senator Dianne Feinstein [D-CA] to require amateur athletics governing bodies like USA Gymnastics and other amateur sports organizations to report sex-abuse allegations immediately to local or federal law enforcement, or a child-welfare agency designated by the Justice Department.

The bill also reforms Masha's Law found at 18 U.S.C. 2255 by significantly enhancing federal civil remedies for victims of child pornography.

These long-sought critical reforms will empower victims of child pornography to hold offenders responsible not only in criminal court, but in federal civil court as well. Advocates for child pornography victims have been seeking these changes for almost 10 years. We congratulate Congress for passing significant law reform for Olympic and amateur athletes, and victims of child pornography, forced labor trafficking, child sex trafficking, federal sex abuse and interstate prostitution.

NOW IS THE TIME TO PASS THE AVAA! Congress must not and cannot rest until federal criminal restitution reform is finally enacted. Let's build on this victory to pass comprehensive reform for victims of child pornography and online exploitation.


Olympic Survivors Demand Change – Congress Scores a Zero

Yesterday, the former national team doctor for USA Gymnastics, Larry Nassar, was sentenced to up to 175 years for a litany of sexual abuse crimes. Nassar was sentenced after seven days of heart wrenching testimony from 156 victims who were abused while Nassar served as a team doctor for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics.

While further Congressional investigation is definitely necessary, the Senate has already passed by unanimous consent decisive well-considered legislation championed by Senator Dianne Feinstein which is supported by 270 organizations and individuals. The Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings and passed this legislation to protect young victims who participate in amateur sports from sexual abuse.

Once again, the Senate has acted decisively and once again it is up to the House to turn rhetoric into reality.

In the House, House Bill 1973 is sponsored by Representative Susan Brooks from Indiana and Representative Lois Frankel from Florida who co-chair the Women’s Caucus and have championed this issue.

The time is now to get this bill enacted! The House should take up this measure immediately before the bold tragic words of our Olympic athletes fade into memory. Although they will never forget what happened to them, history has shown that Congress has a very brief attention span.


Senate Passes AVAA by Unanimous Consent

After several sincere but ultimately failed attempts to pass legislation to simplify and streamline child pornography victim restitution in the federal courts, the Senate has once again demonstrated its commitment to children by ratifying the AVAA late last night by unanimous consent. The United States Senate came together in a bi-partisan coalition of 27 cosponsors, 12 Democrats and 15 Republicans, to do the right thing far from the spotlight, rhetoric, or Twitter feeds.

The real challenge remains the House of Representatives which has steadfastly blocked reform for the past four years.

Now is the time for advocates, victims, and their supporters, to encourage the House to quickly consider and pass Senate Bill 2152. Child pornography restitution reform is long overdue. Let's make 2018 the year when victims of childhood sexual abuse and online exploitation get the help and support they need. The Senate's right, left, and everyone in between has spoken decisively. Now it's up to the House to join them.


Hatch and Corwin Editorial: A lifeline for victims of child pornography

Child pornography leaves in its wake a trail of tragedy and shattered life. While public policy may never eradicate this evil altogether, it can at least alleviate the suffering of its victims. That’s exactly what Senator Hatch has sought to do with a groundbreaking new proposal that will provide justice for victims of child pornography.

In an effort to update our laws for the digital age, Senator Hatch has introduced the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act, named after the victims of some of the most widely circulated child pornography series in the world. “Amy” brought her case to the Supreme Court and “Andy,” who is aided by the tireless advocates at the Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic, is a Utah resident.

Under this legislation-which already has nearly two dozen bipartisan co-sponsors-victims will be able to choose which form of assistance will help them most. For those seeking restitution from defendants, this bill revises the criteria and options for judges to calculate losses and impose restitution. Victims may, as an alternative, apply for a one-time payment from the existing Crime Victims Fund maintained by the Department of Justice.

This editorial appeared in the Provo, Utah Daily Herald. It was co-authored by Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT), the senior member and a former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and David Corwin, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine and President-Elect of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.