President Obama signs 'Talia's law,' aimed at protecting children on military bases

Updated: Dec. 27, 2016 at 6:57 AM HST
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SCHOFIELD BARRACKS (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new law named in honor of a girl beaten to death by her soldier father on Oahu has been signed by President Obama.

"Talia's law," introduced by U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, requires the military to report any abuse on base to civilian authorities.

"More than a decade after Talia Williams's tragic death, there have been more than 29,000 cases of child abuse and neglect in military homes," Gabbard said in a statement. "Until now, the same gaps in the military's reporting requirements that failed to protect Talia and so many other military children remained. Enactment of Talia's law closes these gaps by requiring the same protections that exist for any other child to also protect children in military families."

In 2005, 5-year-old Talia Williams died after months of abuse by her father, who was a soldier stationed at Schofield Barracks, and her stepmother. Despite multiple reports to military officers, state child protection services was never contacted.

Talia's mother, Tarshia Hampton, said she's happy to see the law will finally be passed "to help other kids not go through what my daughter went through."

"My daughter went through so much pain and agony and I am so proud that Talia's Law will prevent other kids from experiencing what my daughter went through," Hampton said.

Attorney Mark Davis, who represents Hampton, said the law could "literally save hundreds and hundreds of children from death and abuse."

There have been about 100 child abuse deaths on U.S. bases in the last decade, Davis said.

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