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To make it a felony for failing to report child abuse

This petition had 266 supporters

Failure to report is classified as a misdemeanor in 39 States and American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. In Arizona, Florida, and Minnesota, misdemeanors are upgraded to felonies for failure to report more serious situations, while in Illinois and Guam, second or subsequent violations are classified as felonies.

Brianna Lopez would be 6 years old now had her death at 6 months of age in 2002 not revealed perhaps the most brutal child-abuse case in state history.

The story of Baby Brianna is a hard one, but it is the ugly reality of child abuse. Violent family members caused her death while others hid what they knew was going on.

"They raped her; they beat her," said District Attorney Susana Martinez who prosecuted the case. "She had bite marks on her face, cheek, head, arms, legs, chest, torso, everywhere.

"Literally bruised from head to toe, from the top of her head all throughout her body all the way to the big toe on her right foot."

She was beaten and raped by her own family.

More needs to be done to punish people like Brianna's grandmother and uncle who failed to report the abuse.

"Those two individuals knew she was being abused," Martinez said. "She was full of bruises that were old: green, brown, yellow-colored." "Had they reported it early, had they and insisted on that child not being abused maybe we would have never had her death take place."

For failing to report the abuse the three were sentenced to 30 days in jail. The maximum is one year.

By making it a felony for failing to report child abuse, we ask that there is a minimum jail sentence of 5 years. No child should ever have to suffer like this. Let this serve as an example to break the silence and end the cycle of abuse once and for all.

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