WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) applauded the unanimous Senate passage of bipartisan legislation he co-sponsored to reauthorize the Victims of Child Abuse Act (VOCAA), which provides funding for Children’s Advocacy Centers that serve child victims and help law enforcement hold perpetrators accountable.
“Children’s Advocacy Centers play an important role supporting children who are victims of child abuse and assisting law enforcement officials in prosecuting those responsible,” said Senator Tillis. “I want to thank my Senate colleagues for unanimously passing this important legislation to reauthorize the Victims of Child Abuse Act and protecting our most vulnerable children in North Carolina and across the country.”
Children’s Advocacy Centers employ a multi-disciplinary team of trained professionals to conduct forensic interviews of children who have been victims of abuse. These interviews are designed to be admissible in court while also preventing children from being re-traumatized by having to tell their accounts multiple times. Use of Children’s Advocacy Centers leads to faster criminal charging decisions in sexual abuse cases, increased felony prosecutions of child sexual abuse, and lower average per-case costs.
The bill has garnered widespread support from the nation’s top advocacy groups, including the National Children’s Alliance, National Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, National Association of Police Organizations, National Sheriffs’ Association, Fraternal Order of Police, and National District Attorneys Association. The bill is also backed by the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, the North East Regional Children’s Advocacy Center, the Midwest Regional Children’s Advocacy Center, the Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center, the Sergeants Benevolent Association, the National Children’s Advocacy Center, and the Southern Regional Children’s Advocacy Center.