Monday, January 26, 2015

Council pushes state to take action on child sexual abuse legislation

State Rep. Louise Bishop was 12 years old when her stepfather stripped her of her innocence in the middle of the night inside of her Georgia home.

Council pushes state to take action on child sexual abuse legislation

State Rep. Louise Bishop was 12 years old when her stepfather stripped her of her innocence in the middle of the night inside of her Georgia home.

Bishop shared her story with City Council which voted Thursday, 16 to 0 to pass a resolution sponsored by Councilmen Bill Greenlee and Denny O'Brien urging the State Legislature to move forward on bills that would protect victims of childhood sexual abuse. [Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez was absent.]

"No one really understands what these young men and women experience, unless you've been there," said Bishop. "No one understands how to treat them. No one understands what it feels like and no one is able to help them until a law is put into place that allows [sexual predators] to be able to [get treatment] or send them to jail."

Bishop, the former minister and radio talk show host held onto that bitter part of her past until last year when she and other state lawmakers began to push for action on child sexual abuse legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations and increase the requirements for reporting suspected abuse.

"I believe it's important we support these efforts," Greenlee said. "We want to send a strong message on this."

Councilman Jim Kenney said, "There should be no statute of limitations on the theft of people's childhood."

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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