Senator Joan B. Lovely
State Senator
2nd Essex District


May 18, 2017

Senator Joan B. Lovely Hosts Legislative Briefing on Omnibus Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Bill

(BOSTON) – This afternoon at the State House, Senator Joan B. Lovely hosted a legislative briefing on her omnibus bill, Senate No. 295, An Act relative to preventing the sexual abuse of children and youth. The briefing featured a variety of speakers and was well attended by both advocates and State House staff.

Speakers at the briefing included Representatives Ken Gordon and Paul Heroux, Jetta Bernier from MassKids, Suzin Bartley from the Children’s Trust, and Laureen Browning from the South Shore YMCA and the YMCA’s state-wide Child Protection Committee. Representatives Gordon and Heroux have filed stand-alone bills of several provisions in the omnibus bill in the House of Representatives.

“We are fortunate to have such a strong team of legislators, advocates and organizations working to pass comprehensive measures to prevent child sexual abuse,” stated Senator Joan Lovely. “Their advocacy on this issue has helped bring awareness and provided an opportunity to continue our education efforts at the State House and across the Commonwealth.”

S.295 is a comprehensive omnibus bill that has several provisions aimed at preventing child sexual abuse by increasing training requirements and awareness of the issue. In particular, employees, independent contractors, and volunteers at schools and youth-serving organizations would receive annual training on the identification of, and response to, child sexual abuse. Students would also be provided with age-appropriate instruction on recognizing boundary-violating behaviors.

The bill would also ensure that those adults who have been let-go from a job due to accusations of sexual assault do not again find themselves working in a similar position. By improving screening procedures and recommendation policies between schools and youth-serving organizations, we can help to prevent children from becoming victims of sexual abuse.

S.295, An Act relative to preventing the sexual abuse of children and youth, has been referred to the Joint Committee on Education.