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WMDT: Bill Would Broaden Del. Child Abuse Laws
DOVER, Del. – It’s a shocking statistic, in America, a child is abused every 36 seconds. That’s just one of the reasons why there is a push to revise laws protecting them in Delaware. There are changes, the State Attorney General’s Office says can’t come soon enough.
The bill aims at protecting those who can’t protect themselves, children. Three million are abused each year, 1,700 of them lose their lives, most before the age of four.
Attorney General Beau Biden says, “This is a tool to allow us to go more aggressively after those who do harm to children.”
The measure, introduced Wednesday, broadens the current laws against child abuse.
“The current statute is very, very narrowly drafted,” says Biden.
Under the proposed changes, if someone seriously injures a child, that would be considered first degree abuse carrying up to a 25-year-prison term. Anyone harming a child age three and under or a child with a disability would be charged with second degree abuse and could serve two years behind bars. There would be up to a one-year-sentence for those convicted of third degree abuse, a misdemeanor.
Biden says, “Our hope is that if we get in and early, whether or not it’s a serious offense, or a less serious offense that we can stop the perpetrator from harming the child.”