Benninghoff Introduces Child Sex Abuse Bill
HARRISBURG – Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) today introduced a bill in the state House aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse by empowering employees to report information about incidents to law enforcement personnel without fear that their employers will retaliate.

“This bill is about encouraging people to speak up and stop the sexual abuse of children,” Benninghoff said. “If something bad is going on, we want people to report it to police and law enforcement personnel. This bill could help stop existing child sexual abuse or prevent it from happening in the first place.”

Benninghoff’s House Bill 2219 would prohibit certain employers covered under the Commonwealth’s Domestic Relations Code from retaliating against employees who report the suspected sexual abuse of children.

Under current law, child abuse reporting requirements mandate that individuals in certain professions who come into contact with children must report suspected child abuse. It further requires that a staff member of an institution must report suspected cases to the person in charge. That person is then required to report the suspected case to authorities using procedures outlined in existing law. An employee who reports child abuse to his or her employer is then protected against retaliation by that employer.

Benninghoff’s bill would empower employees to report suspected child abuse directly to authorities outside their place of employment without fear of retaliation from their employer.

“Someone who is speaking up to protect a child from a predator should not have to fear for his or her job,” Benninghoff said. “If someone bypasses the employer’s chain of command and goes directly to authorities, we should protect that person. The law should protect people who report child sexual abuse to authorities.”

Bennighoff’s legislation has more than 60 co-sponsors.

State Representative Kerry Benninghoff
171st District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Dan Massing
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