SNAP Supports California Effort to Remove Ecclesiastical Exemptions in Mandatory Reporting Laws

A bill has been introduced into the California State Senate that would remove exemptions in mandatory reporting laws that allow clergy to avoid punishment for refusing to report allegations of child abuse or neglect.

We are supportive of any effort that protects children. This law will help ensure that adults who are trusted to care for children will also report any worrying signs or behavior they may witness. It is incumbent on adults to care for children and shield them from abuse, and this can only be accomplished when adults know and understand their reporting responsibility.

In the past, clerical exemptions to mandatory reporting laws have allowed clergy not to report when they heard allegations of child abuse during confession or witnessed a child being abused by another cleric or church staffer. Any law that can help remove this secrecy and promote the protection of children and prevention of abuse is one that we support, and we hope that the California Senate will take up Senator Hill’s bill immediately.

CONTACT: Dan McNevin, SNAP California (dmcnevin@aol.com, 415-341-6417), Joey Piscitelli, SNAP California (caljoey1@aol.com, 925-262-3699) Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Secretary (melanie.sakoda@gmail.com, 925-708-6175) Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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