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Utah’s New Child Abuse Registry Goes Online

SANPETE COUNTY, Utah – There’s nothing JoAnn Otten likes more than spending time with her 14 grandchildren, but it’s her nickname, “They gave me the name of mad grandma,” she said, given to her by a local chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse, that speaks volumes about her determination to protect all children, after one of her grandchildren was abused as an infant.

Miley was shaken by her biological father on Oct. 16, 2013.

Since then, Otten began a journey to raise awareness about child abuse.

Two years ago, she led the charge at the state legislature, to create a child abuse registry for offenders guilty of a felony. “Miley’s Law” means there is now a searchable website.

“Rep. Owens contacted me today and told me it was up, and I was at work when I received his text and I started crying because it has been a long five years.”

Now that the system is operational, Otten says it is important for people to use it, so they can help protect children around them.

“If your babysitter is on there or your neighbor or a coach that your children play sports with, it is a guide for you to look at, to make sure your children going with people who are safe,” she added.

As for Miley, she’s now in kindergarten. While she still suffers from permanent injuries, her future is brighter than expected.

Her abuser remains in prison and will be on the registry himself.

And Otten will sleep better now, knowing not just her grandchildren, but all children are safer.

“We have a responsibility to our children, and we need to put it in our head that our children matter and we need to protect our children,” she said.

LINK: Utah’s Child Abuse Registry

 

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