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Family of Union Co. child abuse victim calls for stronger nationwide child abuse laws

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MONROE, N.C. – The family of a Union County toddler who was nearly beaten to death last year is calling on Congress to strengthen child abuse laws nationwide.

This April, Gov. Pat McCrory signed Kilah's Law, which significantly increases jail time for future offenders in North Carolina.

On Friday morning, Kilah Davenport's family held a news conference at the Fairview Volunteer Fire Department because crews were first on the scene when Kilah was attacked by her step-father last year.

Kilah's mother says while she's thrilled Kilah's Law was greeted with so much support in North Carolina. She wants the movement to go national.

That attack in May of last year caused permanent brain damage to Kilah, and she requires therapy seven days a week.

This past March, Ninth District Representative Robert Pittenger introduced a bill in the House called the "Kilah Davenport Protection Act of 2013."

It would require all states receiving federal grants fighting domestic violence to set a minimum punishment of at least ten years in prison for a parent or care-taker who seriously hurts a child.

Kilah's mom, Kirbi, says the bill is still sitting in committee, not getting much attention, and she's frustrated other lawmakers aren't doing more to push it through to help save the lives of other children.

At the news conference, Kilah's mother, Kirbi, said, "Although all of North Carolina overwhelmingly supported stricter sentencing guidelines for felony child abuse, I am appalled that our own Congressman Richard Hudson as well as U.S. Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr refused to take five minutes out of their schedule to return the many phone calls and emails that the Justice for All Coalition and the Kilah Davenport Foundation have placed with these elected officials we put in office.”

Stay with News 14 Carolina for more information on Kilah's Law.

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