March 29th 2021
Texas House Member Ina Minjarez, who represents the Southwest Side of San Antonio, is authoring House Bill 1009, which would make it a felony to have knowledge of child abuse and not report it.
Rep Minjarez gave the following statement:
"Our top child abuse reporters are teachers, medical professionals, and law enforcement with family members fourth. Due to increased community messaging of child abuse prevention awareness, there has been an increase of relative reporting with them representing approximately 8% of total reports made each year. Friends and Neighbors who are often close to a child represent only 3% of total reports made each year.
"All Texan children deserve to grow up in a caring and loving environment, yet across our state, hundreds of thousands of children are neglected or abused each year, often causing lasting consequences. The purpose of HB 1009 is to encourage and create an incentive for those closest to a child with knowledge of serious bodily Injury to report more than what they do today. Child abuse can occur in any family, regardless of socio-economic status, religion, education, or ethnic background. Unfortunately, Texas continues to lead the nation in child fatalities and this bill, if passed, will help to set the appropriate tone for protection and prevention of life lost due to abuse and neglect."