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4/15/2017 7:44:00 PM
EDITORIAL: NWI Region unity yields child sex abuse prevention

Times of Northwest Indiana

Our voices ring even more clearly when that message is one of unity among Region interests.

Such is the case with the recent passage of a mandate requiring all Indiana schools to provide annual instruction to students in grades kindergarten through high school regarding prevention of child abuse and sexual abuse.

And what interest could be more important than protecting our youth from such evil?

The measure became law on the steam of a coordinated Region effort, "No More Secrets," spearheaded by North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan.

It became a textbook example of bipartisan political and social cooperation.

The trustee's father, state Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond; Sen. Lonnie Randolph, D-East Chicago; Rep. Julie Olthoff, R-Crown Point; Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso; Rep. Earl Harris, D-East Chicago; and Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, all co-sponsored a bill requiring the prevention education.

Notice the mixture of Democrats and Republicans who put aside political differences for the greater good of our children's future.

A unified Region front led to unanimous passage of the "No More Secrets" bill by both the Indiana House and Senate.

Most of us are keenly aware of the traumatic effects various forms of abuse have on children and their physical and emotional development.

Current state law requires abuse prevention instruction only for students in grades 2 through 5.

The new measure, expected to be signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb, will greatly expand the law's preventative reach — one proven to prompt victims to step forward from the shadows and seek an end to the desolation of abuse.

Everyone involved in creating and supporting the bill should take a bow.

Any remaining naysayers who believe downstate legislators won't listen to Region concerns should take note of the possibilities when we speak together rather than sheltering in our own partisanship or parochialism.

Related Stories:
• Lawmakers send 'No More Secrets' priority to Gov. Eric Holcomb
• Plan for child sexual abuse education advances at Indiana Statehouse
• Child neglect not going away in Fayette County, latest figures show
• Still waiting: Shortage of advocates, rise in cases, leaves children without a voice

Copyright 2017,, Munster, IN

Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR

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