“Senate Bill 5280, and its companion bill in the state House (HB 1098), would make it illegal for clergy not to report sexual abuse allegations to authorities unless the information came in the form of a confession,” explains Wilson Criscione reporting for InvestigateWest.
Watch Sara Young, a survivor of child sex abuse as a Jehovah’s Witness, testify on behalf of the bill.
Currently, Washington is one of a handful of states in the country that do not list clergy as mandatory reporters of child abuse or neglect at all.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Noel Frame, D-Seattle, who said she was motivated to change the law after reading InvestigateWest’s reporting last year examining alleged sexual assault cover-ups by Jehovah’s Witnesses and Washington’s relatively weak state laws regarding clergy’s reporting requirements.
Read the full details via InvestigateWest: