HARRISBURG—Protecting children is the number one goal for organizations that deal with kids. Child advocacy groups along with state legislators are calling on tougher laws to make sure cases of child abuse are reported.
Child advocacy groups are calling on state legislators to tighten child abuse reporting laws. Many groups want to see stronger reporting laws to make sure everyone reports possible abuses. Those groups are gathering at the state capitol this morning to push for tougher laws.
In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky alleged sex abuse scandal, many people are calling on Pennsylvania to tighten its child abuse reporting laws. Advocacy groups and state representatives are taking the first step towards making those tougher laws.
"People are wondering that something might have happened to their child are now having the courage to pick up the phone and call. We're also seeing a four times over calls by adult survivors - that we never got before," said child advocate Joan Mills.
Child advocacy groups are seeing an increased volume of calls as the Jerry Sandusky saga unfolds. Sandusky is charged with molesting eight boys over a 15-year period while at Penn State. Two high ranking officials are charged with trying to cover up the allegations for years. Now, groups like Protecting our Children Committee, along with State Representative Scott Petri, are calling for a thorough review of the current laws and practices for protecting kids from abuse.
"You have to think kids that going bed at night really fighting some demons, and some innocence lost, and that heart wrenching when you think about that, it goes on in this country, it should not happen to anybody," said Jay Paterno during an interview with ESPN.
The POCC will ask the state to strengthen the mandatory reporting laws with who is required to report and how reports are made to the authorities. The group is also asking for more resources to be dedicated to investigation and child abuse services. Finally, the POCC would like to see more accountability and transparency in the child protection system.
As the cases against Jerry Sandusky and the two top ranking PSU officials head to court there is word this morning that the NCAA is looking into whether Penn State violated any rules during this scandal. The news conference asking for stricter laws for child abuse reporting is scheduled for 9 am in the Capitol Rotunda.