Mark Davis: President Obama signs 'Talia's law' aimed at protecting children on military bases
Five Year Old Talia Williams was brutally abused for seven months by her father, an active-duty infantryman stationed in Hawaii. Army officials had been warned that Talia was being abused, but either downplayed the evidence or ignored it. Talia slipped through that loophole in the Army's child abuse safety net and on July 16, 2005, was dealt a final, murderous, blow - which left the imprint of her father’s knuckles on her small chest.
After her death, Talia's mother worked with her civil litigation attorney, Inner Circle member Mark Davis of Honolulu, Hawaii, and a panel of experts to draft "Talia's Law" which will require military officials to immediately report any instance of child abuse to state child protective services. (Currently military personnel who suspect child abuse are only required to report it to their supervisor.) During his investigation into the facts of the case, Mr. Davis discovered that the Army had evidence of 29,000 cases of child abuse between 2003 and 2013, and knowledge of the deaths of 118 children of soldiers during that time period. Mr. Davis became aware that unless this loophole in the federal system is changed by Congress, other children will be forced to suffer from the same lack of protection that failed Talia. "Talia's Law" was designed to force all federal mandatory reporters of abuse to notify the state child protective service agencies.
"Talia's Law" was introduced as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act by Senator Mazie K. Hirono on July 16, 2015. In the coming weeks, Senator Hirono plans to introduce a standalone version of Talia's Law.
12/13/13: Congress passes Talia’s Law to protect children of military families: http://khon2.com/2016/12/13/congress-passes-talias-law-to-protect-children-of-military-families/
12/27/16 Hawaii News Now - President Obama signs 'Talia's law,' aimed at protecting children on military bases - http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/34135848/president-obama-signs-talias-law-aimed-at-protecting-children-on-military-bases