Baucus said more than 15,000 children have died due to abuse and neglect since 2002, but that the numbers could be much higher because information is not being shared.

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“We don't have clear facts because currently, there is no national standard for collecting data on these young victims,” Baucus said when introducing the bill. “Many state child protection agencies do not share vital data and statistics with other agencies, officials or law enforcement.

“Clearly, more must be done to better protect our nation's children. More must be done to protect them from the fear and terror of abuse, especially when the threat to their safety often comes from those that should cherish them the most. We need to bring this issue out of the shadows.”

Baucus said the task force created under S. 3705 would be made up of child welfare administrators and researchers, law enforcement officers and other experts to study and evaluate federal, state and private child welfare systems and develop a comprehensive national strategy to prevent and reduce the deaths of children being abused.

Sens. John KerryJohn Forbes Kerry2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states When it comes to Colombia, America is in a tough spot 36 people who could challenge Trump in 2020 MORE (D-Mass.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Tech: Judge blocks AT&T request for DOJ communications | Facebook VP apologizes for tweets about Mueller probe | Tech wants Treasury to fight EU tax proposal Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand FCC to officially rescind net neutrality rules on Thursday MORE (R-Maine), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinWashington puts Ethiopia's human rights abusers on notice Overnight Defense: Mattis vows Dreamers in military won't be deported | Pentagon unsure if military parade will be in Washington | Dem bill would block funds for parade Dems introduce bills to block funds for Trump's proposed parade MORE (D-Md.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenOvernight Defense: VA chief won't resign | Dem wants probe into VA hacking claim | Trump official denies plan for 'bloody nose' N. Korea strike | General '100 percent' confident in US missile defense Trump official denies US planning 'bloody nose' strike on North Korea House Oversight Committee opens probe into sexual abuse of gymnasts MORE (D-N.H.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) are co-sponsoring the bill.

Baucus said the House passed similar legislation and that now is the time for the Senate to act as well.

“The House of Representatives has already acted on this legislation,” Baucus said. “Let us now join together and create a life free of violence and fear for our most vulnerable citizens.”