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"Jacob's Law," requiring parental notification of abuse, now in statute

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota governor, Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators, Democrats, Republicans Updated: April 4, 2012 - 12:26 PM

 Both parents must be notified if their children are suspected of being abused under a new law signed by Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday.

The law was inspired by the abuse of a Lyon County boy in 2005. At the time, only the father of the boy was notified -- his mother was in the dark until four years later when the boy, named Jacob Gould, attempted suicide in the wake of the abuse.

"This is a very special bill that turns tragedy into triumph," Gov. Mark Dayton said.

Gould, now 12, and his family joined Dayton and he signed the measure, known as "Jacob's Law."

"Nobody said anything to me. Nobody told Jacob that they knew. So for four years after they prosecuted the abuser, Jacob kept a secret that really wasn't even a secret," said Sarah Corder-Guggisberg, Jacob's mother. She said that her ex-husband never informed her.

She said law enforcement legally only needed to tell "a parent" so she didn't find out until Jacob's pain was long unmanaged.

 

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