Victims' Rights Caucus



Jun 19 2007

 Mr. Speaker, in the days of the recent past, when a child was sexually assaulted, the criminal justice system continued to victimize the child, because the victim was bounced all over town relating the story to numerous strangers.

   Sometimes a child, when interviewed at the police station, actually came in direct contact with the offender. Also, the child could wait for hours in the same county emergency rooms as other victims of stabbings, car wrecks and overdoses.

   But times have changed. There are over 680 child advocacy centers in the United States, including one in Houston, where victims go when assaulted. At the center are trained police, therapists, doctors and lawyers that are experts in dealing with children. Here the child is helped before the trial, during the trial, and, yes, after trial.

   The National Children's Alliance, led by Nancy Chandler, is the umbrella organization that helps these 600-plus centers throughout the Nation. All these child crusaders are in Washington this week working to make our land safer for kids.

   America is grateful to these members of the victims' posse that help protect our greatest resource, children. After all, it shouldn't hurt to be a kid in the United States.