California Assembly Unanimously Passes Child Abuse Protection Bill by Senator Susan Rubio with 74-0 Vote
SACRAMENTO, CA – In a unanimous 74-0 vote, the California Assembly has passed SenateBill 603, also known as the Child Abuse Privacy Protection Act (CAPPA). Authored by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), the bill aims to fortify legal safeguards for children and families. Specifically, the bill mandates that forensic interview recordings of children be released only through a court-issued protective order. A forensic interview is a specialized service provided by Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) to gather statements from children who have experienced abuse. These interviews serve as critical, albeit sensitive, pieces of evidence that often contain graphic accounts of abuse. CAPPA ensures the secure handling of these recordings by requiring a protective order for their release and constraining their distribution to what is strictly essential for investigation. “Until now, California lacked well-defined legal parameters concerning the release of children’s forensic interviews,” said Senator Susan Rubio. “SB 603 builds upon existing law, shielding the important work done by Child Advocacy Centers. It stipulates that these sensitive recordings can be released only through an appropriate court order, minimizing the risk of re-traumatizing these young victims. The essence of this bill is the welfare of abused children.” “Children’s Advocacy Centers of California proudly sponsors SB 603.This critical bill protects the privacy rights of brave children who step forward to report abuse.” said Erin Harper of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of California.
George Gascón, the LA County District Attorney, echoed these sentiments, saying, "By mandating that these recordings be accessed only as necessary, through a court order and a protective order, this bill aims to prevent the re-victimization of these vulnerable children." He added, "The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is proud to sponsor this important legislation and thanks Sen. Rubio for her ongoing commitment and dedication to protecting survivors of abuse." With its unanimous passage in the California Assembly, SB 603 now heads to the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom for final approval.
Senator Susan Rubio represents Senate District 22. For more information, visit https://sd22.senate.ca.gov/