NOW LAW: Assemblywoman Mosquera Measure To Raise Awareness For Child Abuse Hotline In NJ Schools

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Gabriela Mosquera to require school districts to display the State’s child abuse hotline in schools was signed into law Friday by Governor Phil Murphy.

The #MeToo movement has demonstrated how difficult it can be for even adult victims to report abuse. Children who are experiencing abuse may not know how to ask, or where to turn for help. Having this information prominently displayed in schools can help empower these children to report the abuse and bring their perpetrators to justice.

The new law (formerly A-425) would require a board of education to prominently display information about the Department of Children and Families’ State Central Registry – a toll free hotline for reporting child abuse – in all district schools. The information must give instructions to call 911 for emergencies and include directions for accessing the department’s website or social media platforms for more information on reporting abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Under the law, the registry information is required to be in a format and language that is clear, simple, and understandable. The information must be on a poster and displayed at each school in at least one high-traffic, highly and clearly visible public area that is readily accessible to and widely used by students.

The measure was approved by the Assembly in May, 76-0, and by the Senate last June, 40-0.