Marilyn Van Derbur
(former Miss America, incest transcender, child advocate)
I am stunned and outraged to learn that, in many states, the maximum penalty for raping a child is probation if the perpetrator is related to the child. If the perpetrator is not related to the child, the maximum penalty is 20 plus years.
Who, but a pedophile ... who but a child rapist, would want to make the penalty less severe for the person who is in the greatest position of trust?
The only reason I can fathom legislators not wanting to sponsor the CARE Act would be because they are trying to protect themselves. Could there be any other plausible justification?
Unfortunately, a federal law is mandatory because protecting children should be our most important priority. If the states won't act in favor of children, then we need a federal law that will supercede state's laws.
From age five to age eighteen, my father pried me open hundreds and hundreds of times. I had no safe place. My supposed protector was my violator.
PROTECT CHILDREN! I speak as an adult whose life was traumatized by a father who invaded every part of my body. I speak as an adult for children who have no voices.
Since my story of incest became public in 1991, I have spoken in over 200 cities, been on almost every major talk show and given over 250 newspaper interviews. I have personally answered over 7000 letters. I have been in personal contact with more adults who were sexually violated as children than anyone else in America.
I will watch, carefully, those legislators who oppose this act and I will share their names with audiences nationwide as I continue my mission to help keep children safe.
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