Ohio law aimed at preventing child abuse - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Ohio law aimed at preventing child abuse

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The Lucas County Prosecutor is on a mission to protect the littlest victims of crime. Prosecutor Julia Bates says her office wants to focus on protection not prosecution when it comes to child abuse cases. She says there is a simple way to do that.

It's called the Safe Haven for Newborns law and it's nothing new, but Prosecutor Bates wants to remind people about it and how it works. The law has been on the books here in Ohio since 2001 and Bates' office is working to make sure the law continues to help save lives in our community.

Lynn Carder heads up the Toledo-Lucas County Victim Witness Assistance Program, "It's hard to fathom how someone could take the life of their own child. Whether it is through desperation, a feeling of being overwhelmed, financial stress, it is hard to imagine what cause people to take the actions they do. Obviously, they are in great distress but we have a solution to it."

The solution is the Safe Haven for Newborns law. Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates wants to remind people about it,"You think why did this have to happen? And the message is that it doesn't have to happen ever again, ever. If we can make a difference in the future in the life of one child, in the life of one mother we surely better do that."

Here's how it works, parents can drop off any baby up to a month old at several locations with no risk of prosecution, "A hospital, a fire station, a police station and simply surrender the baby, no questions asked. You can have complete immunity and anonymity as long as the child is unharmed it is just that simple."

The reason for reminding people about the law is simple for prosecutors. Lindsay Navarre is a prosecuting attorney,"Our office never wants to prosecute another one of these cases. I applaud Prosecutor Bates for taking such a tragedy, such a horrible case and trying to turn it into something good and educate people about the Safe Haven for Newborns law so another baby doesn't die."

There is a Safe Haven Hotline in Toledo. The calls are answered around the clock, every day of the year. The number is 419-265-BABY, that's 419-265- 2229. They can answer any question you may have about the program. There have been babies surrendered here in Lucas county under the safe haven law.

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