By Audrey Ignatoff: For Complete Post, Click Here…
An important and groundbreaking bill, NJ A4519 was introduced into the New Jersey Legislature by Representative Daniel Benson, and cosponsored by Representatives Valerie Huttle and Anthony Verrelli. This bill, “AN ACT concerning the bullying of disabled persons”, will extend the statute of limitations for disabled minors and adults who have been bullied, abused, exploited, and neglected.
Minors will have up to 37 years and those over 18 will have up to 7 years after they realize that damage was done to them for any of the above actions. This is a civil action and actions against vulnerable adults may also be reported to adult protective services and to law enforcement.
Undoubtedly, this will provide a new layer of protection for the disabled and, hopefully, similar legislation will be introduced in other states. Not only will this type of legislation allow victims to be compensated for damage done to them but will also act as a deterrent against future abuses.
Bullying has emerged as a major public health problem displayed in various forms such as verbal, physical and psychological aggression. The effects of childhood bullying can cause problems such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, sleep problems, low grades, physical problems, substance abuse, and even suicide. These effects can reach into adulthood and have a profound effect upon a person’s development and life.
It is estimated that fully 33 percent of all students have been bullied with 25 percent of them experiencing bullying daily. From 37 to 45 percent of adults have been bullied, many in the workplace. These figures increase even more in the disabled population.