Kilah's Law goes in front of House panel Wednesday

by: Jacqueline Fell Updated:

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressional committee approved bill to monitor child abuse penalties

Stiffer penalties for child abusers in North Carolina went into effect Sunday.

The state law is named after Union County toddler Kilah.

Her family is now fighting for better protection in all 50 states.

Eyewitness News reporter Jacqueline Fell talked with her grandmother who took the family's fight all the way to Capitol Hill Wednesday.

Leslie Davenport calls her 4-year-old granddaughter a miracle. The toddler was nearly beaten to death last year.

Police charged her stepfather with felony child abuse.

A Congressional committee just unanimously approved a bill that would require the U.S. attorney general to create a report on all states' child abuse penalties to highlight any deficiencies in state laws.

Leslie Davenport said she hopes the report will shame states that have lax sentences into passing stiffer laws.

"We know this will save lives and stop some of these horrible things from happening to children," she said.

The House could vote as early as next week on the bill.

If it passes, the attorney general would have to complete his report within six months.

Read our coverage on 40 new laws that began Dec. 1 here.