PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Governor Gina Raimondo has signed a total of 41 bills into law and among them is a child abuse hotline bill.
The bill requires all public and private schools in the state, including charter schools, to post a clear and visible sign for students with the state’s child abuse hotline number.
“Child abuse can occur in many different forms and it’s critical that our children know how to safely report these assaults if their peers or themselves are being hurt,” said Rep. Raymond H. Johnston, the bill’s sponsor in the House.
The statewide, toll-free number will be implemented by the Department of Children, Youth, and Families and staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The purpose of the hotline will be to report suspicion of child abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse by another child or an adult.
According to the law, the sign will be be posted in a conspicuous, high-traffic area that is accessed and widely used by the students of the school.
State Sen. James E. Doyle III, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, said, “Our children need to know that if someone is hurting them, there is help out there to make it stop.”