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Public Statements

Issue Position: Protecting Children And Familes

Issue Position

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Protecting Children and Families

Martha has been an advocate for keeping children and families safe for over 25 years.

As Attorney General, Martha protected Massachusetts families by ensuring law enforcement had the tools necessary to do their jobs and by directing resources to the care and protection of crime victims.

As a United States Senator, Martha will continue to promote the health and safety of all Massachusetts' families.

Advocating for Victims of Sexual Assault

Throughout her career, Martha has been a passionate advocate for victims of sexual assault.

In the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, Martha prosecuted dozens of child abuse cases, and served as Chief of the Child Abuse Protection Unit from 1991-1997. Under her leadership, the Child Abuse Protection Unit became a national model for victim-centered prosecution of crimes against children. In 2003, Martha established the Adult Sexual Assault Division to address the unique physical and emotional burdens faced by adult victims of sexual assault.

As Attorney General, Martha has focused on strengthening and expanding access to assistance for victims, including victims of sexual assault, and strengthening our laws to better protect children from sexual predators. Martha, along with a coalition of legislators, filed legislation to provide additional tools to better enable victim-witness advocates to respond to the needs of victims of violent crimes and their family members. Last year Martha worked with legislators and the 11 District Attorneys from around the Commonwealth to pass legislation to provide prosecutors with the tools they need to hold sex offenders who target children accountable for their horrific crimes.

As Senator, Martha will support federal funding for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act and the Violence Against Women Act, which provide support for local shelters, counseling, and other services for child and adult victims of violence.

Preventing Human Trafficking

Martha has worked tirelessly to prevent human trafficking. Statistically, victims of these crimes are most often women and children.

Last year, Martha directed the Victim Services Division of the Attorney General's Office to convene a series of programs across the Commonwealth that focused on human trafficking. These programs trained law enforcement, victim service providers, labor organizers, union officials and local officials, among others, on how to identify human trafficking and address the needs of its victims.

In the spring of 2009, Martha filed legislation to provide law enforcement with additional tools to combat human trafficking enterprises. The legislation, "An Act to Combat Economic Crime", is a comprehensive economic crime bill designed to give law enforcement the necessary tools to investigate and prosecute sophisticated criminal activities and enterprises in the 21st century.

Promoting Healthy Families

In addition to her passionate advocacy on behalf of child abuse victims, Martha has supported measures to ensure the health and safety of our children in all aspects of their lives.

As Attorney General, Martha reached a landmark settlement with manufacturers of toys with dangerous amounts of lead, securing funds that will be used in Massachusetts to prevent future cases of lead poisoning.

Martha is an advocate for Internet safety. In 2008, she led a two-year effort with MySpace and Attorneys General across the country to develop a plan to make social networking sites safer for children.

Martha is committed to ensuring that rising fuel prices did not jeopardize the health of low-income families, by holding roundtables to develop community-based solutions for rising costs, and by supporting the Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP). In Washington, Martha will support federal measures to ensure the safety of all families during the winter months.

Martha will work to ensure that all children have access to health care. She strongly supported S-CHIP, President Obama's extension of health care coverage to low-income children. In Washington, she will fight for a public insurance option that guarantees all children and families quality, affordable health care.

As Senator, Martha will continue to fight for the safety of all children and families by supporting policies that help law enforcement effectively protect children, holding manufacturers of dangerous products accountable for the risks they pose, and fighting for health care reform.

Helping Working Women Support Their Families

As our country continues to face an unprecedented economic crisis, Martha knows that recovery efforts and new policies must address the needs of working women and their families.

As Senator, Martha will support the expansion of the Family Medical Leave Act to enhance medical leave benefits for family members of veterans, which would provide more time off from work for those caring for a wounded service member.

Read More

* Attorney General Martha Coakley Sponsors Legislation to Enhance Victim Compensation Assistance

* Attorney General Martha Coakley and Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett Present Urban Violence Subcommittee Report to Governor Patrick's Anti-Crime Council

* Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley Joins Lawsuit to Block Federal Rule Jeopardizing Women's Reproductive Health Rights

* Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Receives National Award for Excellence in Computer Forensics

* Attorney General Martha Coakley Announces Comprehensive Economic Crime Bill

* Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office to Offer Grants to Organizations to Combat Childhood Lead Poisoning

* Attorney General Martha Coakley Urges Congress to Pass Additional Low Income Energy Funding

* Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Launches Three New Grant Programs Totaling $4 Million; Programs will Support Financial Literacy, Jobs for Youth at Risk and Abandoned Property Rehabilitation


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