THE ADVOCATE’S KILLER is released today. It is book number eleven in The Advocate Series. This book was written in the shortest length of time so far. However, it had less to do with an increase in my writing speed, than it had to do with the Covid-19 pandemic. Stuck at home in isolation gave me a lot of writing time.
I have to tell you though, I’m starting to get cabin fever. I miss my walks at the bay and the beach. I miss seeing my family. I miss going to the movies. Heck, I even miss going to the store, and I hate to shop.
I sit here feeling sorry for my self, and then I think about how lucky I really am. My heart goes out to all those families who have lost loved ones. They will forever feel the loss. For the rest of us, this won’t last forever, and if we are all kind and thoughtful of others, we can get through this together.
Stay safe and Covid-19 Free.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. If you live in Maine, you can support their efforts by placing a blue light in your window throughout the month of April. As reported by the Maine Today, several towns will be participating such as Skowhegan, Waterville, Augusta, and Hallowell. It would be nice to see other towns participate as well and even other states. But more importantly, be aware and become a part of the solution. We all have something to offer.
Please help build awareness. And report if you suspect abuse. Many of you are in positions where you you come into contact with children who are being abused and you may not recognize it. School employees, for example, (and not just teachers) are often in one of the best positions to prevent abuse. However, if you can’t detect it, you can’t report it. Get educated. Most schools have policies for abuse awareness programs, many of which are not being implemented. The Bay Area in California just got a wake up call. You can read about it here. Ask your administration what they are doing.
Many of us see it happening in our own families. Don’t ignore it. The life you save may be your niece or nephew or grand child.
What will you do to help? Please post any suggestions for others who want to help, but don’t know where to start.
Montana Seeks New Bill for Child Abusers
I worked for many years in the dependency courts in California with abused children and so often saw very little accountability for the crimes committed. When a child was seriously injured it was generally not the first offense by the perpetrator. So, I’m pleased to see what one state is doing on behalf of these children.
Several new bills have been proposed in Montana to help protect children from abuse. This article explains why they are taking action. http://tinyurl.com/agkq8m5
Senate Bill 160 proposes new felony charges for child endangerment.
SB 198 proposes revising the laws for penalties for assault on a minor. This bill would raise the maximum to 20 years for children under 36 months old and if it causes serious bodily injury, the penalty would rise to 40 years.
SB 113 allows evidence of previous crimes in prosecuting sexual offenses.
House Bill 74 requires disclosure of child abuse from Child Protective Services to law enforcement in all cases.
There is a loop hole in the law that allows registered sex offenders to avoid prosecution for not disclosing their true address. An additional bill has been proposed to close that loop hole.
These bills are supported by both parties and it appears Montana is taking serious steps to help protect its children.
The bills are designed to bring greater accountability for the crimes, but more importantly it would seem that it would help prevent more serious abuse in the future. If intervention is done before the crimes escalate (and they generally do) hopefully it will save many children from serious and permanent injury and often death.
If you live in Montana, please let your legislators know if you support these bills. The public can make a huge difference.