- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
States that include TANF in the Combined State Plan must outline how the State will meet the requirements of section 402 of the Social Security Act including how it will:
f. Conduct a Program Designed to Reach State and Local Law Enforcement Officials, the Education System, and Relevant Counseling Services, That Provides Education and Training on the Problem of Statutory Rape So That Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Programs May Be Expanded to Include Men (section 402(a)(1)(a)(vi) of the Social Security Act)
Code of Alabama at Section 13A-6-61 states in part that a person commits the crime of rape in the first degree which is a Class A felony if “ He or she, being 16 years or older, engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is less than 12 years old.” Punishment for a conviction for this felony is life, or not more than 99 years or less than 10 years.
Code of Alabama at Section 13A-6-62 states in part a person commits the crime of rape in the second degree which is a Class B felony if “ being 16 years old or older, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex less than16 and more than 12 years old; provided the actor is at least two years older than the member of the opposite sex.” Punishment for a conviction for this felony is 2-20 years.
Alabama passed Erin’s Law in 2015. That law (and amendments) requires all K-12 public schools and Pre-K when available , establish a child sexual abuse prevention instructional program. The Alabama Department of Human Resources is a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Child Sexual Abuse Prevention as well as an active participant in the provision of training for mandatory reporters for this important legislation and activity. Further the Governor issued an Executive Order authorizing county Children’s Policy Councils to work in conjunction with local Child Advocacy Centers to develop a child sexual abuse prevention plan. As part of that plan through work with local school systems, development and presentation of an orientation for all middle school and high school students regarding peer to peer sexual abuse crimes was to be provided at the beginning of each school year.
The Department of Human Resources developed pamphlets containing information regarding the legal definitions and consequences of statutory rape. Two pamphlets were developed one targeted at educating males and the other to educate the parents about the consequences of a daughter under the age of 16 involved in a sexual relationship. The development of these pamphlets included review by staff of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, Criminal Division, the Alabama Department of Education and internal review by various Divisions within the Department of Human Resources. We partner with the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention to fund Fatherhood Programs across the state. These pamphlets are distributed as part of the educational activities of these programs which are specifically targeted at non—custodial males. TANF funded Fatherhood programs number 21 throughout the state. Additionally, these materials are used in the educational activities of the Alabama Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Further, these pamphlets are generally available upon request from other interested entities in Alabama. Staff of the Department of Human Resources distributes the pamphlets as appropriate to individuals applying for or receiving Family Assistance and in other program areas as deemed necessary.
TANF workers are required to report cases of suspected abuse or neglect to the appropriate service staff. This activity specifically includes the circumstances of girls under the age of 16 having sex with males who are at least 16 years old and at least two years older than the female.