Virginia Passes Mandated Reporting Bill, SNAP Responds
We are grateful any time state legislators work to pass legislation that will protect children, and so we are glad that this new mandatory reporting bill was passed in Virginia.
At the same time, we are concerned about a loophole present within the bill that makes the reporting requirement not as mandatory as it may seem.
Providing an exemption for communications according to religious definitions of “confidentiality,” means that not all allegations of abuse will be forwarded to law enforcement, something that this law was ostensibly drafted to ensure.
We hope that legislators in Virginia will close this loophole to require that all allegations are reported to authorities, not just some. We also hope that Virginia will continue to pass laws that help protect children and support survivors, such as statutes of limitation reform and the opening of civil windows.
(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)