Senator Rubio’s Piqui’s Law, Mandating Courts Put Child Safety First in Custody Disputes, to be Heard in Assembly
SACRAMENTO, CA – Senate Bill 616, Piqui’s Law, by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), which mandates judicial training to ensure a child’s safety in custody proceedings, will be heard on June 28 in the State Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Senate Bill 616, Piqui’s Law: Keeping Children Safe from Family Violence, is named for a 5-year-old murdered by his father. The boy’s mother, Ana Estevez, fought in family to protect her son against her ex-husband before Piqui’s death. If passed, SB 616 will allow California to receive critical federal funding to protect victims of child abuse and domestic violence by prioritizing child safety in the family court system. The bill will align with federal provisions within the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in order to receive funding.
“Protecting our children should always be a priority, but the legal system failed Piqui,” said Senator Rubio. “SB 616 will begin a systematic change in family court to prevent another family from suffering such pain. I’m proud to work with Ana and the Center for Judicial Excellence on Piqui’s Law and to prevent one more child from dying. Piqui has become everyone’s child, and Piqui’s Law should be everyone’s fight.”
“As the mother of Piqui, a 5-year-old murdered by his father, I am all too aware of the need to reform family court and mandate formal training for court-related professionals,” said Ana Estevez. “My son’s death was entirely preventable, and I do not want another parent to experience the heart-shattering tragedy I have. My Piqui was innocent, and he had the right to live a happy, abuse-free life. SB 616, Piqui’s Law, by Senator Rubio, is a crucial element in protecting victims and children of domestic violence and child abuse.”
“The Center for Judicial Excellence worked tirelessly with our allies at the federal level for over two years to get the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorized with a laser focus on Kayden’s Law, which included groundbreaking child safety provisions and a federal funding incentive for states that comply with the law,” said Kathleen Russell, Executive Director of the Center for Judicial Excellence. “SB 616, Piqui’s Law, makes California the first state in the nation to introduce a bill to modernize our family court laws so that children like Kayden and Piqui are not murdered by a divorcing parent. We are proud to sponsor SB 616 and are so grateful to Senator Rubio and Ana Estevez for their leadership on this vital legislation.”
In March 2022, President Joe Biden signed the re-authorization of VAWA, which included groundbreaking new provisions to improve child safety laws within family courts, otherwise known as “Kayden’s Law.”
Under this federal legislation, states may receive federal funding if they adopt child custody and domestic violence statutes to further prioritize child safety. Grants will become available beginning the federal fiscal year of 2023, and states will be able to drawn down a minimum of $5 million, per year, until 2027. If SB 616 is enacted, otherwise known as “Piqui’s Law,” California will be eligible to receive a minimum of $25 million in federal funding over the next five years, starting in 2023.
Senator Susan Rubio represents Senate District 22. For more information, visit https://sd22.senate.ca.gov/
Media Contact: Edward Barrera, email@example.com