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Sessions leads bipartisan effort to protect victims of child abuse

The Victims of Child Abuse Act plays a critical role in protecting our nation’s children.
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today after joining Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) to introduce a bill to reauthorize the Victims of Child Abuse Act (VOCAA):

“As a former prosecutor and Attorney General, I have seen firsthand the dramatic impact that Children’s Advocacy Centers have made in improving our nation’s response to these terrible crimes. Since the Victims of Child Abuse Act was introduced more than two decades ago we have seen substantial improvements in the investigation of these heinous acts and the vital care provided to child victims. Protecting our children is the highest moral duty we have. I am proud that the first Children’s Advocacy Center is in Huntsville—this amazing organization does such crucial work on behalf of our nation’s children.

The Victims of Child Abuse Act plays a critical role in protecting our nation’s children and we must reauthorize it. I am grateful to Senators Coons, Hirono, and Blunt for joining in this effort.”

BACKGROUND:
The Victims of Child Abuse Act provides funding to local Child Advocacy Centers (CAC) across the nation, as well as the Regional Children’s Advocacy Center programs, the National Children’s Alliance, the National Children’s Advocacy Center and other programs serving child abuse victims. The Congressional Budget Office released an informal overview stating that it would not have a budgetary impact on spending or revenue. CACs take a multi-disciplinary approach to responding to child abuse by coordinating the efforts of medical, mental health, victim advocacy, law enforcement, and prosecutorial agencies. In the 1980s, former Congressman Robert “Bud” Cramer, Jr. of Alabama recognized the urgent need for improved responses to child abuse and Cramer (then a District Attorney) helped found the first CAC in Huntsville. Due to the enormous difference they’ve made, CACs have expanded to over 850 locations across the county.
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