Assemblymember Cooley Announces Child Abuse Prevention Month and Abuse Prevention Bill Package

For immediate release:

(Sacramento) - Assemblyman Ken Cooley (Rancho Cordova), Sheila Boxley – President and CEO, Child Abuse Prevention Center and Anne Marie Schubert – Supervising Deputy District Attorney, Special Assault and Child Abuse Unit, Sacramento County District Attorney's Office gathered at the Child Abuse Prevention Center in North Highlands to kick-off April as Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month and announced a bill package aimed at preventing these crimes against our most vulnerable.

ACR 34 (Cooley) acknowledges April 2013 as Child Abuse Prevention Month in the State of California. This resolution calls on the people across the state to work together to support youth-serving child abuse prevention activities in their communities and schools. It is also a tool for child abuse prevention centers and law enforcement to help raise awareness in our communities.

Two other bills announced today implement education programs that have proven to both reduce and identify child abuse that cause great bodily injury and in some cases death. The first measure, AB 845 (Cooley), implements a Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) Education Program charged with developing educational materials to teach parents and caregivers of infants about SBS and its prevention. Approximately 1,300 children are severely injured or die from head trauma in the US every year, many as a result of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

"Studies have shown that with the proper education for parents and adults, the occurrences of shaken baby syndrome can be cut in half, saving lives and resources. The cost of standing by and not taking action to give our communities these tools is too great," said Assemblyman Cooley.

AB 883 (Cooley) creates an optional pilot program in each county to create a multi-year plan to address child sexual abuse prevention that emphasizes community collaboration and education, training on identifiable risks and warning signs, local prevention plans and data collection. According to the center for disease control, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are sexually abused before the age of 18.

"Nearly a half million cases of suspected child abuse are filed in California every year — and these are just the reported cases," said Sheila Boxley, of the Child Abuse Prevention Center. "It is critically important that resource providers have the funding they need to protect children from abuse. Small investments now can save lives and lead to millions in saving down the road."