VICTIMS OF CHILD ABUSE ACT REAUTHORIZATION ACT

July 28, 2014
Floor Statements

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the passage of S. 1799, the Victims of Child Abuse Act Reauthorization Act of 2013.

This bill passed the Senate last month and provides important services and funding to protect and heal the most vulnerable of all crime victims: our children.

During their participation in the Federal criminal justice system, it will provide and improve the resources available to assist children who are victims of crime. Child victims will be supported through this often lengthy and difficult process by designated victims' coordinators, specialists, and advocates. Surplus funds in the Crime Victims Fund will be used for a Victim Notification System, which preserves and protects the rights of those victims to be involved at important steps during the criminal justice process. In addition to these services and programs, the bill also authorizes appropriations for the children's advocacy program, the development and implementation of multidisciplinary child abuse investigation and prosecution programs, and grants to provide training and technical assistance to attorneys and others who are instrumental during the criminal prosecution of child abuse cases in State and Federal courts.

In these fiscally lean times, it is important to note that the bill authorizes the inspector general of the Department of Justice to audit grant recipients to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. This will also ensure that all of the funds are used to protect our most vulnerable people in the process: crime victims.

In closing, as we have repeatedly recognized, children are the most vulnerable in our society and warrant unique treatment. As a country and as a people, we have a constitutional, statutory, and moral obligation to provide them with the protection, resources, and support they need even under the best circumstances. Our responsibilities and moral imperative to act are at the apex when these children are victimized and are at our mercy. I, therefore, urge my colleagues to support the bill.