Proposed laws in D.C. and Va. would require clergy to report sexual abuse

In response to recent Catholic Church clergy sex abuse scandals, lawmakers in the District and Virginia say they will soon propose legislation that adds clergy to the list of people mandated by law to report child abuse or neglect.

Both efforts hit at the hot-button intersection of child protection and religious liberty, but lawmakers are expected to give them an open reception at a time when recent sexual abuse scandals in churches and others involving athletes have prompted conversation about broadening legal responsibility to extend beyond positions such as teachers and doctors.

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Under D.C. law, anyone 18 or over who knows or has reason to believe that a child under 16 is a victim of sexual abuse is required to report it to civil officials. But the requirements of mandated reporters are more extensive, and Racine is considering taking them much further.

Read the full article at The Washington Post