Bill to aid young victims of sexual abuse heads to governor’s desk

Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) speaks about Senate Bill 807 at the Senate Governance and Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, May 10.

Help for victims of sexual abuse is only a signature away from becoming state law.

Senate Bill 756, which would provide restitution for young sexual violence victims, was passed on the Assembly floor and is now awaiting approval from Governor Jerry Brown.

Introduced by Senator Henry Stern (D- Canoga Park), the legislation would require predators to pay for mental health services to treat the psychological trauma they inflicted on victims 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.”

Currently, there are over 400 pending cases in Los Angeles County that could be eligible for restitution under the bill, Stern’s office cited.

“That one also has a really huge gap in the law,” Stern told The Signal in June. “There is a lot of concern in L.A. County. We’re going to be laser focused there.”

Both the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and the Crime Victims Action Alliance have cosponsored the legislation.

The bill was passed with 74 “yeses,” no “noes” and six abstains on the Assembly floor and 39 “yeses,” no “noes” and one abstain on the Senate floor.

This is the first of Senator Stern’s bills to make its way to the governor’s desk from his freshman legislative session.

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