Welcome to another week.
A set of bills in the state of Michigan, in America, are being considered, which if passed would lead to the creation of a child abuse registry. The law would allow anyone convicted of child abuse in a criminal court to be placed on a child abuse registry for 5-10 years.
The proposed legislation, named Wyatt’s Law, would enable parents to search the registry to see if someone who has had contact with their child has a recent conviction for child abuse.
Wyatt was injured by abuse he suffered at the hands of his father’s girlfriend in 2013, when he was a toddler. Wyatt’s mother, Erica Hammell, had tried to access information relating to the girlfriend’s criminal record but wasn’t able to. Erica believes that if she had been able to get this information, she could have then gone to court to prevent contact between Wyatt and her former partner’s girlfriend.
Whilst the proposed legislation has received a great deal of support from several law makers, senators and lawyers, not everyone backs the idea. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a charity focused on protecting civil liberties in the US, is actively opposing the legislative proposals.
Our question this week then, is just this: do you think the UK could benefit from a child abuse register like this one, or, like the ACLU, do you feel this measure is a step too far?