The Athol Republican will join fellow legislators as well as representatives from a host of early education, youth service provider and child advocacy organizations on the 22-member Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Task Force, which is being co-chaired by Massachusetts Child Advocate Gail Garinger and Children’s Trust Fund Executive Director Suzin Bartley. As part of its mission, the task force will develop a 5-year plan for using community education and other strategies to increase public awareness about child sexual abuse, including how to recognize signs, minimize risk and act on suspicions or disclosures of such abuse.“Representative Whipps Lee has a long and distinguished record of active involvement in her district as a volunteer for a number of charitable organizations, and as a successful business owner,” said Representative Jones. “I am confident that she will bring a wealth of real-world knowledge and expertise to this task force, and will play a key role in developing a comprehensive plan to address the terrible scourge of child sexual abuse.”
“I take very seriously the responsibility of protecting some of our most vulnerable residents, and I am honored to have been appointed to this task force by Representative Jones,” said Representative Whipps Lee. “I look forward to working with the members of the task force to identify the most effective ways to help prevent young children from being victimized and to ensure that youth organizations around the state are able to recognize the warning signs of sexual abuse so they can take swift action to put an end to the abuse.”A member of the Athol Board of Selectmen, Representative Whipps Lee is currently serving her first term in the Massachusetts Legislature, after defeating Democratic incumbent Denise Andrews in the November 2014 state election. She represents the Second Franklin District, which consists of the communities of Erving, Gill, New Salem, Orange, Warwick, Wendell, Belchertown, Athol, Petersham, Phillipston, Royalston, and Templeton.
The Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Task Force is scheduled to file its final report and recommendations by December 31, 2015.