Behind closed doors: new legislation designed to recognize and p - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Behind closed doors: new legislation designed to recognize and prevent child sexual abuse

Posted: Updated:

According to the National Center For Victims Of Crime, 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are victims of child sexual abuse.

The saying "there's no place like home," has a different meaning for children who suffer abuse at the hands of their own family. It's a struggle behind closed doors, but House Bill 298 is designed to expose more cases of child sexual abuse, or CSA.

Tonight on KULR-8 News, we shine the spotlight on the topic that isn't easy to stomach, but is as prevalent and dangerous now as ever.

Stacy Dreessen works with The Family Tree of Billings to provide the community with special training aimed at preventing child abuse.

"It's important that we protect our children," Dreessen said. "Child sexual abuse is an important issue in this community and throughout the state. Child sexual abuse can affect children for a lifetime."

Dreessen said anyone who works with children, from teachers to school custodians, can help prevent CSA by knowing what to look for. Local legislator and MACo President Todd Devlin agrees, which is why Devlin spoke in support of House Bill 298.

"This bill is about bringing awareness and presentations and tools to schools," Devlin said. "Bill 298 would increase communication between the Office of Public Instruction and Health and Human Services, providing more information so those within the schools recognize warning signs."

Devlin uses a lot of his time and efforts towards raising CSA awareness and encouraging preventive programs. In a statement supporting HB 298, Devlin stated:

"We all have our stories, including me. I was one who suspected sexual abuse and never was in a position to help. Besides the extreme mental and physical damage it causes, according to a 2012 study, it costs society in the United States right at $137 Billion every year. If you do the math, that is $415 million to citizens of Montana every year. That is $3,000 per victim per year. Prevention is the obvious option." -Todd Devlin, MACo President

Devlin said HB 298 passed 93-5 in the House and 46-4 in the Senate. Devlin said he hopes a new law will bring more awareness and resources to Montana schools in the near future.

In the last year, more than 50 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in Yellowstone County. Dreessen said anyone can report suspected cases of abuse to child the protection hotline, 1 (866) 820-5437. Dreessen also welcomes anyone with questions to call or visit The Family Tree Center of Billings.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Bret Michaels puts some "poison" into Montana Fair

    Bret Michaels puts some "poison" into Montana Fair

    Friday, April 20 2018 9:15 AM EDT2018-04-20 13:15:03 GMT

    Bret Michaels is a multiplatinum global superstar who has turned his passion for music into a multi-faceted brand that encompasses record breaking touring sales, Reality TV stardom, legendary songs that have sold over 32 million records, product endorsements as well as being a devoted philanthropist, all supported and followed by three generations of loyal fans.

    Bret Michaels is a multiplatinum global superstar who has turned his passion for music into a multi-faceted brand that encompasses record breaking touring sales, Reality TV stardom, legendary songs that have sold over 32 million records, product endorsements as well as being a devoted philanthropist, all supported and followed by three generations of loyal fans.

  • Internet Parent Presentation

    Internet Parent Presentation

    Thursday, April 19 2018 11:34 PM EDT2018-04-20 03:34:18 GMT

    Ofc. Earl Campbell with the Billings Police Department was the speaker for the presentation. He told KULR-8 that when it comes to internet safety, his job is to go online and find ways to keep children safe.

    Ofc. Earl Campbell with the Billings Police Department was the speaker for the presentation. He told KULR-8 that when it comes to internet safety, his job is to go online and find ways to keep children safe.

  • NICU Flight Education Day

    NICU Flight Education Day

    Thursday, April 19 2018 10:23 PM EDT2018-04-20 02:23:20 GMT

    "This helps us take our basic skills and build on that foundation. It helps us continually work on those skills, run through scenarios. Perfect practice in these scenarios, so when that patient does arrive, we are better equipped and better trained to handle these at-risk premature infants."

    "This helps us take our basic skills and build on that foundation. It helps us continually work on those skills, run through scenarios. Perfect practice in these scenarios, so when that patient does arrive, we are better equipped and better trained to handle these at-risk premature infants."

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Herberger's liquidation sales to begin Friday

    Herberger's liquidation sales to begin Friday

    Thursday, April 19 2018 11:40 PM EDT2018-04-20 03:40:49 GMT

    Herberger's announced liquidation sales will start Friday, April 20.

    Herberger's announced liquidation sales will start Friday, April 20.

  • UPDATE: WYDOT reports road slide on Chief Joseph Scenic Highway

    UPDATE: WYDOT reports road slide on Chief Joseph Scenic Highway

    Thursday, April 19 2018 8:58 PM EDT2018-04-20 00:58:36 GMT

    The Chief Joe Slide is northwest of Cody, about 20 miles west of Wyoming 296's intersection with Wyoming 120.

    The Chief Joe Slide is northwest of Cody, about 20 miles west of Wyoming 296's intersection with Wyoming 120.

  • Suspect tasered and arrested after car chase in Billings

    Suspect tasered and arrested after car chase in Billings

    Thursday, April 19 2018 10:36 AM EDT2018-04-19 14:36:58 GMT

    A man is in custody after a chase near King Avenue and I-90 in Billings. 

    A man is in custody after a chase near King Avenue and I-90 in Billings. 

  • Teen throws student into file cabinet, gets tased

    Teen throws student into file cabinet, gets tased

    Kaitlyn PearsonKaitlyn Pearson

    Yesterday, police say they arrested a teen when she failed to stop assaulting the SRO officer after being tased. 

    Yesterday, police say they arrested a teen when she failed to stop assaulting the SRO officer after being tased. 

  • Family tries euthanizing cat after he walked 12 miles to return home

    Family tries euthanizing cat after he walked 12 miles to return home

    Thursday, April 19 2018 1:23 AM EDT2018-04-19 05:23:12 GMT
    @a.cat.named.toby@a.cat.named.toby
    @a.cat.named.toby@a.cat.named.toby

    RALEIGH, North Carolina - A North Carolina family gave their cat away and then tried to euthanize him after he walked 12 miles back to his home. According to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County, North Carolina, Toby the cat made the long trek back to his family after they tried to give him away. When he returned, they took him to a shelter to put him down. The shelter called the SPCA to ask if they would help 

    RALEIGH, North Carolina - A North Carolina family gave their cat away and then tried to euthanize him after he walked 12 miles back to his home. According to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County, North Carolina, Toby the cat made the long trek back to his family after they tried to give him away. When he returned, they took him to a shelter to put him down. The shelter called the SPCA to ask if they would help 

  • Security procedures at MetraPark will include metal detectors during PBR

    Security procedures at MetraPark will include metal detectors during PBR

    Thursday, April 19 2018 11:04 AM EDT2018-04-19 15:04:07 GMT

    Any item on the prohibited list will not be allowed in the arena. If these items are found during the security check, they will need to be returned to your vehicle or thrown away.

    Any item on the prohibited list will not be allowed in the arena. If these items are found during the security check, they will need to be returned to your vehicle or thrown away.

  • Red Lodge-New street name

    Red Lodge-New street name

    Friday, April 20 2018 7:06 AM EDT2018-04-20 11:06:23 GMT
    The city of Red Lodge now has a new street name.  11th St. in downtown Red Lodge will be renamed "Mount Maurice street", after a local mountain and Red Lodge icon. The city has been taking entries for this contest to help bring the city of Red Lodge into compliance with the Carbon County grid, as well as to help allow for growth.  This new street name will make it easier for emergency services to identify locations throughout the city and make routes and addresses...
    The city of Red Lodge now has a new street name.  11th St. in downtown Red Lodge will be renamed "Mount Maurice street", after a local mountain and Red Lodge icon. The city has been taking entries for this contest to help bring the city of Red Lodge into compliance with the Carbon County grid, as well as to help allow for growth.  This new street name will make it easier for emergency services to identify locations throughout the city and make routes and addresses...
  • Fundraisers to be held for motorcyclist hit by vehicle

    Fundraisers to be held for motorcyclist hit by vehicle

    Thursday, April 19 2018 4:10 PM EDT2018-04-19 20:10:30 GMT

    A fundraiser is organized to help the man who was injured during a crash that happened one week ago on Aprill 11th. 

    A fundraiser is organized to help the man who was injured during a crash that happened one week ago on Aprill 11th.