Justice for Survivors of Child Abuse

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Washington, D.C., December 18, 2017 | comments

Dear Friend,

Last week, the President signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2018, which included part of my bipartisan bill to close a legal loophole that denies justice for some survivors of child abuse.

I heard firsthand from survivor Pennie Saum, who as a child suffered abuses at the hands of her father, an Army veteran. Her father was convicted and sentenced to 17 years in prison, and Pennie and her brother were awarded a civil judgment for $5 million in damages. However, because their father’s primary source of income is military retirement pay, he was shielded from paying a cent of the restitution he owes his children.

So I introduced the Child Abuse Accountability Enhancement Act (H.R. 1103) with Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler earlier this year because anyone who falls victim to physical, sexual or emotional violence — particularly children — deserves the opportunity to seek justice, regardless of who abused them.

Pennie told me, “Words cannot express how happy I am to see part of the Child Abuse Accountability Enhancement Act become a law. It’s been a long road. It’s time that military retirees who abuse children to be held accountable for their actions.”

Because of our efforts, now 25 percent of offenders’ wages can be garnished for restitution. While this is an important step in closing a loophole, I will not stop fighting until convicted child abusers – no matter who they are or who they worked for – pay the full restitution owed. 

As always, my office is here to serve you. If you have questions or comments about the topics that matter most to you, I encourage you to contact me through my website. You may also keep up-to-date on what I’m doing by following me on social media. If you need assistance dealing with a federal agency, such as the VA, IRS or Department of Education, please do not hesitate to contact my Bothell office at (425) 485-0085.


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