States Policy Exchange

States Policy Exchange: Passing Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Laws in Every State

The States Policy Exchange is a bi-monthly online information-sharing and peer support platform for child advocates and legislators seeking to advocate for child sexual abuse prevention policies and laws in their states. It was launched by Enough Abuse as a follow up to a 3-Part Webinar Series for Policymakers and Advocates held in November 2021 and co-sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse America and the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation.

That series provided over 80 advocates from 25 states an opportunity to learn more about  A Call to Action for Policymakers and Advocates: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Legislation in the States, a 50-page report released nationally in June 2021 by Enough Abuse in collaboration with Prevent Child Abuse America.

During those webinars, participants expressed an interest in meeting regularly to discuss strategies to introduce and/or amend legislation to address:

  • the requiring of child sexual abuse prevention training for all school employees and students;
  • comprehensive strategies to strengthen the screening of prospective school employees; and
  • the U.S. Department of Education’s prohibition of the “passing the trash” practice, i.e. the aiding and abetting of a school to help an employee engaged in sexual misconduct secure a position in another school.

Number of States With CSA Prevention Laws 2002-2021

Graph 1, A Call to Action for Policymakers and Advocates: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Legislation in the States, MassKids and Prevent Child Abuse America 2021

Over 100 advocates participated in one or more of three bi-monthly meetings of the State Policy Exchange held in the spring and summer of 2022, including Prevent Child Abuse America and its Chapters in WY, UT, NC, AL, TX, NY, NV, IA, KY, IL, CO, RI, VT, ND and MA; several members of the National Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (endorsers of the Call to Action); Children’s Advocacy Centers in three states; the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), and Domestic Violence Coalition members in seven states.

Among the state policymakers that have participated include: the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office,  the Nevada Department of Education, the Department of Health in New Mexico, the Department of Health in North Dakota, and State Legislators from Illinois and Indiana. 

Discussions have been lively and feedback from participants indicate that the information exchange and peer support are valuable. 

View past States Policy Exchange meeting notes and recordings: 3/15/22: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13hsz93438txy6Ni6byiB3S7Fp1FLUCQ6/edit?usp=sharing&rtpof=true&sd=true

First State Policy Exchange meeting, 3/15/22 

5/17/22: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fVY1q-HABm0hZskR4HgnwqldoQ4578jD/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=106252457533124434375&rtpof=true&sd=true 

7/19/22: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WNbaAdEw4VnCbpzI9JQCX4orCyI_psV-/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=106252457533124434375&rtpof=true&sd=true

Third States Policy Exchange meeting, 7/19/22

If you or your colleagues are interested in joining the State Policy Exchange, simply email info@masskids.org for details.

9/20/22: Notes coming soon

Fourth SPE Meeting 9/20/22

Fifth meeting date will be in November – date TBD