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AAP Statement on Senate Passage of Victims of Child Abuse Reauthorization Act

12/12/2018 by: Colleen A. Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics

​"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) applauds the U.S. Senate for passing bipartisan legislation yesterday that makes important progress toward protecting children from abuse. As pediatricians, our number one priority is to keep children healthy and safe; the Victims of Child Abuse Reauthorization Act supports a pediatrician's role in identifying and preventing harm to children.

"Pediatricians are mandatory reporters of child abuse, which means if they suspect a patient is experiencing abuse, it is their obligation to report it. Pediatricians can also play a vital part in assisting with investigations of suspected child abuse, including medical evaluations or consultations. The Victims of Child Abuse Reauthorization Act includes an important clarification that the same legal protections apply to those who report abuse as those who assist with investigations into cases of suspected child abuse, ensuring that pediatricians, educators, law enforcement, and others who are often on the frontlines of this issue can do everything in their power to keep children safe.

"The AAP thanks Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) for their leadership on the Victims of Child Abuse Reauthorization Act and is urging the U.S. House of Representatives to advance the bill without delay."

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.