Cornyn Bill to Prevent Child Abuse Inspired by Texan Jenna Quinn Passes Senate
I issued the following statement after the Senate passed his Jenna Quinn Law, which would allow grant funds to be used to train and educate students, teachers, caregivers, and other adults who work with children in a professional or volunteer capacity on how to prevent, recognize, and report child sexual abuse. The bill is named for Jenna Quinn, a Texan and child abuse survivor, and is modeled after successful reforms passed by the Texas Legislature in 2009.
For over a decade in Texas, Jenna’s Law has been crucial to training students, teachers, and caregivers to better identify and prevent child sexual abuse. The increase in reporting of these cases is why I am proud to partner with advocates and Texans like Jenna Quinn to ensure that these resources are available nationwide, and I strongly urge the House to pass this legislation and send it to the President’s desk without delay.
Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mike Braun (R-IN) and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) joined Sen. Cornyn on the legislation.
Jenna Quinn has been an outspoken advocate for survivors of child sexual abuse and was the driving force behind what is now known as Jenna’s Law in Texas. Unanimously passed by the Texas State Senate and House, Jenna’s Law was the first child sexual abuse prevention law in the U.S. that mandates K-12 trainings for students and school staff; it was amended in 2017 to include sex trafficking prevention education in schools. More than half of all states have adopted a form of Jenna’s Law.
After Jenna’s Law passed in Texas in 2009, a study found educators reported child sexual abuse at a rate almost four times greater after training than during their pre-training career.
The Jenna Quinn Law would:
- Authorize federal grants to eligible entities for increasing evidence-based or informed training on sexual abuse prevention education and reporting to teachers and school employees, students, caregivers, and other adults who work with children.
- Ensure these grant recipients coordinate with local educational agencies to train students, professionals and volunteers who work with students on sexual abuse prevention, recognition and reporting.