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McKnight Bills Signed into Law

Bills signed into law will help protect children and elderly from predatory alienation, and raise public awareness of Prader-Willi Syndrome to assist those diagnosed with the rare disease

(TRENTON) – Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-Hudson) on Thursday announced legislation she sponsored to protect children and seniors from falling victim to predatory alienation, and help raise awareness about Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare disorder that is often misdiagnosed due to the medical community’s unfamiliarity with the syndrome, has been signed into law.

“These measures help protect and advocate for some of our most vulnerable residents,” said McKnight. “Whether they are children and seniors who have been exploited by corrupt individuals, or individuals affected by this unusual disorder, these regulations will help champion their cause.”

The first law (A-4244) requires the Departments of Children and Families and Human Services to conduct a joint study and make recommendations concerning predatory alienation and its effects on young adults and senior citizens. The study will examine: how online predators, human traffickers, con artists, gangs, cults, and other groups use predatory alienation to isolate young adults and senior citizens from their family and friends; the grooming practices used to target and control young adults; the high pressure tactics used in scams and exploitative relationships to manipulate, control, and take advantage of senior citizens; why young adults and senior citizens are vulnerable to predatory alienation; what young adults and senior citizens can do to protect themselves from predatory alienation; and any other information relative to the subject matter of the study.

“Understanding how predators work, and how they are able to manipulate children and the elderly to their advantage will help us stop them before they can claim another victim,” said McKnight.

The second law (AJR-111) designates May of each year as “Prader-Willi Syndrome Awareness Month” in New Jersey. Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a complex genetic disorder affecting appetite, growth, metabolism, cognitive function, and behavior. PWS has no cure. However, early diagnosis and treatment may help prevent or reduce the number of challenges that PWS sufferers may experience, and which may be more of a problem if diagnosis or treatment is delayed.

“It is important to increase the public’s awareness about PWS, its devastating impact on the lives of men, women, and children who suffer from the syndrome, and the fact that with early diagnosis and treatment, the effects of the syndrome can be reduced,” said McKnight.