GREEN BAY – On Thursday, February 24th, Representative Kristina Shelton (D-Green Bay), Senator Melissa Agard (D-Madison) and Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) introduced LRB-6112, relating to: the duty of a member of the clergy to report child abuse.  This bill will expand the types of child abuse currently required to be reported to a law enforcement agency by members of the clergy to include that of physical abuse, not just acts of sexual abuse, in cases of confidential and non-confidential communications. On the bill’s release, Representative Shelton offered the following statement:

“I am proud to be a co-author to this legislation – the Clergy Mandatory Reporter Act. Wisconsin has been setting some of the worst instances of clergy sexual abuse of children and its concealment. Child sexual abuse is one of the most under-reported crimes in the United States. The current law is protecting the wrong people. It is keeping victims silent, while allowing abusers to get away with their actions. This bill is vital to helping expose this abuse and is a step towards accountability and justice.”

Peter Isely, Program Director at Nate’s Mission – a DePere-based organization seeking to advocate for survivors and prevent future sex abuse from member of the church, said:

“After years of continual revelations of abuse and cover up, Wisconsin law still allows clergy in faith based organizations and schools from reporting to authorities when they discover a child is being raped or sexually assaulted. Members of every other profession working with children and families in our state are required to do so. The Clergy Mandatory Reporting bill will finally end this unacceptable shield for perpetrators and anyone who would harm a child.”

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