Deutch Releases Data Showing Sexual Assault of Unaccompanied Minors in HHS Custody
During this morning's House Judiciary Committee hearing titled "Oversight of the Trump Administration's Family Separation Policy," Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) released documents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) exposing the extent of sexual assault cases of children in their custody.
Unaccompanied minors and children separated from their parents at the border are held by HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). According to physical documents delivered by HHS to the Judiciary Committee, sexual abuse against minors continued at disturbing levels over the last three years.
For example, in each of the last two fiscal years, 49 allegations of sexual abuse by staff on minors were reported to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Over 1,000 sexual abuse allegations were reported to ORR each year. Yet in each of those years, far fewer allegations were reported to DOJ.
Click here to access the HHS document with tables of the number of sexual abuse allegations reported to ORR and DOJ from FY 2015 through FY 2018.
Click here to access the HHS document detailing sexual abuse allegations referred to DOJ.
Click here to access ORR's policy on responding to allegations of sexual abuse.
"These HHS documents detail a staggering number of sexual assaults on unaccompanied children in their custody," Congressman Deutch said. "Together, these documents detail an unsafe environment of sexual assaults by staff on unaccompanied minors. With the number of allegations each year roughly breaking down to one sexual assault per week for the last three years, clearly this Administration is not equipped to keep these children safe inside their facilities. Congress and the public demand answers and a clearer understanding of how these allegations are being investigated and what is being done to protect these vulnerable children."
Click the image below to watch the Congressman's questions to Administration officials.