From the office of U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski:
On Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 10:15 a.m., U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee on Children and Families, will chair a hearing titled “Breaking the Silence on Child Abuse: Protection, Prevention, Intervention, and Deterrence.” The hearing is the first federal examination of child abuse laws following recent allegations of sexual abuse at universities and institutions across the country. The hearing will examine the adequacy of current federal and state reporting requirements, as well as proposals aimed at better protecting against, preventing, intervening in and deterring child abuse.
The hearing will include two panels of witnesses who will discuss personal stories of abuse, the emotional damage abuse inflicts on victims and their families, the barriers and reluctance of some adults to report suspected or known child abuse, ongoing federal, state, and local efforts to combat child abuse, and whether existing reporting requirements are working to protect our nation’s children.
Former NHL hockey player Sheldon Kennedy will testify on the first panel. Though he skated for three NHL teams including the Detroit Red Wings, Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins in his eight-year career, he is best known for his courageous decision to charge his minor-league hockey coach with sexual assault for the abuse he suffered over a five year period while a teenager under his care. He will talk about the effect abuse had on him and his family, his experiences within an organization that did not do nearly enough to protect children from predators, and his advocacy work through Respect Group, Inc. and the Canadian Red Cross.
U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski
Sheldon Kennedy – Former NHL player and Co-Founder, Respect Group Inc.
Michelle K. Collins – Vice President, Exploited Children Division & Assistant to the President, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Frank P. Cervone – Executive Director, Support Center for Child Advocates
Erin Sullivan Sutton – Assistant Commissioner for Children & Family Services, Minnesota Department of Human Services
Robert Block – President, American Academy of Pediatrics
Teresa Huizar – Executive Director, National Children’s Alliance
10:15 a.m., Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510