California Senate passes bill to protect child victims of sexual violence

Henry Stern

State Senator Henry Stern’s bill to protect child victims of sexual violence, in effect July 21, 2017, received bipartisan support in both houses of legislature. Senate Bill 756 is Stern’s first measure sent to Governor Brown and then signed into law.

Stern’s bill, co-sponsored by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office (LADA) and the Crime Victims Action Alliance, allows young sexual abuse victims to receive restitution for mental health services. The mental health services are used to treat psychological trauma when necessary through therapy and emotional support. Currently, there are about 700 pending cases in Los Angeles County that, under Senate Bill 756, could receive restitution. 

“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, according to a press release from Senator Stern’s office. “These are victims who go on to suffer from recurring 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.”