Policy and Advocacy
OPEN LETTER CALLING ON RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS TO SUPPORT SAFE, ETHICAL, AND CONFIDENTIAL RESEARCH ON CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT
We support safe, ethical, and confidential research on child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse. We concur with the CDC, the IOM, and the WHO that “all violence against children and youth is preventable, and reliable information is needed to develop and implement effective prevention strategies.” Read the full letter.
In March 2022, Congress approved a $2 million allocation for child sexual abuse prevention research for FY 2022. This is the second year the allocation has increased. However, more research on prevention interventions is needed. Through evidence-based, public health approaches to prevention, we can address the epidemic of child sexual abuse.
The Moore Center is currently working to educate stakeholders and federal policymakers about the need to eliminate registration for children adjudicated delinquent of a sex crime. Two decades of research reveals that sex offender registration is not only largely ineffective in preventing child sexual abuse, it’s especially harmful to kids who are on the registry, some of whom remain on it for life. Learn more.
After the initial allocation of $1 million in fiscal year 2020, Congress increased the investment by 50 percent, to $1.5 million in the final fiscal year 2021 spending package, which was signed into law in late December 2020. This increase in funding was the culmination of a year of hard work—which included navigating the new virtual advocacy environment—and collaboration with stakeholders both on and off Capitol Hill.
The Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual congratulates the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Injury and Violence Prevention for the appropriation of $1 million in new Congressional funding for the for child sexual assault prevention research. “We are grateful to our Congressional champions who have recognized the importance of this issue and worked to secure the funding in the final bill,” says Elizabeth Letourneau, PhD, director of the Moore Center and a professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Mental Health. “This is a remarkable win for our field and for the children we aim to protect. The appropriations measure, which passed the House and Senate on December 18 and was signed into law late December 20, provides funding to support more proactive approaches and research for the development, evaluation, and dissemination of effective practice and policy. FY 2019 CDC REPORT TO CONGRESS ON CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE PREVENTION
In April, Maryland Code, Education §6-113.2 (House Bill 486 – Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct Prevention) passed. The Center helped draft and review portions of the bill and met with the State Department of Education on implementing changes to school buildings to improve safety and reduce sexual abuse.
Dr. Letourneau served as a subject matter expert for a case with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and provided an amicus brief. The brief challenges the constitutionality of juvenile sex offender registration because there is no scientific evidence that demonstrates that this practice provides any public safety benefit.
Despite not passing in the Maryland Senate, HB687 SOL Bill – focusing on the elimination of the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases - got a favorable vote out of the House Judiciary Committee.