Senate Bill 756 passed unanimously in the California State Senate Thursday, pushing forward Senator Henry Stern’s (D-Canoga Park) effort to help young victims of sexual abuse.
Under the bill, predators would be required to pay for mental health services to treat trauma they inflicted upon victims who are under 14 years old.
“Our kids deserve better,” Stern said in a statement. “Victims of sexual violence are being denied justice under our current system.”
Over 400 cases in Los Angeles County could be eligible for restitution under the bill, Stern’s office said.
The bill is cosponsored by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office (LADA) and the Crime Victims Action Alliance.
According to Jonathan Hatami, Deputy District Attorney with the Complex Child Abuse Section of LADA, victims suffer from reoccurring nightmares, trouble sleeping and difficulty finishing their education or keeping a job.
“It takes them a lifetime to recover and we, as a society, should do everything we can to help them,” Hatami said in a statement.
The Senate Public Safety Committee passed the bill unanimously prior to it going to the full Senate.
The Assembly will vote on Senate Bill 756 next.
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