Child abuse now officially a crime in Delaware

After several high profile child abuse cases in the First State, Delaware lawmakers have specifically named child abuse as a crime.

Governor Markell signed Senate Bill 234, which also strengthens protections for abused children, into law on Wednesday.  “We don’t live in a perfect world.  Unfortunately, we continue to hear about cases where children have been abused.  It’s something that makes all of us sick, frankly,” Markell said.  “We need to continue to work together to do everything we can to keep the children of Delaware safe.”

Markell was joined by several state lawmakers during the signing ceremony, including State Rep. Rebecca Walker, D-Middletown, who also works as an emergency room nurse.  She says she’s seen the impact of child abuse first hand in the ER.  “This is our vulnerable population.  We need to make sure these kids are protected and taken care of.”

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden says the new law improve the ability of his office to prosecute abusers.  “This statute is very important to fill the gaps that have made it more difficult for us to attack people who attack and harm children.”

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Senate Majority Leader Patricia Blevins sponsored the measure that she calls a landmark bill, “And hopefully one that will be adopted in other states as well.”  She says because Delaware didn’t have the crime of child abuse before this, it had been difficult to mould existing laws into crimes against children.  “This will let [child abuse] stand alone as its own crime.”



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