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  • Writer's pictureCARMON EMERY

Child Advocates to U.S. Senators: Pass the INVEST in Child Safety Act Now

More Funding is Needed for Law Enforcement to Get Child Predators Off the Streets.


WASHINGTON – As Congress and the White House are focusing on legislation to protect children online, Stop Child Predators (SCP), a national nonprofit organization with decades of experience in educating lawmakers on policy changes aimed at implementing effective child protection policies, are demanding lawmakers fully fund federal and state law enforcement programs, especially Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces.


“The only legislation currently being discussed in Congress that will accomplish protecting kids online is the INVEST in Child Safety Act and through the full implementation of the PROTECT Our Children Act of 2008 by the U.S. Department of Justice.  We need Congress to do its job and build a foundation that ensures rigorous oversight and outcome measurement to effectively protect children online, which is long overdue. This necessary decision would ultimately put the focus on criminals victimizing children and remove the predators from the streets" said Maureen Flatley, Child Protection Advocate. 

Numerous bills introduced in Congress purport to tackle online child exploitation, but they lack emphasis or funding on involving law enforcement at various levels—international, federal, state, or local—raising concerns about enforcing existing laws and the absence of coordinated efforts to address child trafficking and missing children.


"I've dedicated my career to disrupting the cycle of child victimization and abuse. Throughout the years, policymakers have predominantly treated child protection as a state law matter. Despite their efforts, there has been limited success in effectively preventing and addressing the issue of child exploitation," said Stacie Rumenap, President of Stop Child Predators. “As child welfare shifts into the digital world, it is essential that we develop a meaningful federal response to this abuse starting with removing perpetrators from the equation.  This simply cannot be accomplished without supporting law enforcement.”

SCP recently released a white paper addressing what policies will actually be effective in addressing protecting children online. The white paper can be found here. 

 

About SCP

A national nonprofit focused on child advocacy; Stop Child Predators (SCP) was founded in 2005 after the kidnapping of nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford. She was abducted, raped, and murdered by a twice-convicted sex offender.  At that time - the average child molester spent only three years of a seven-year sentence in prison before being released back into society. In response to this heinous crime, SCP crafted The Sexual Offenses Against Children Act – or Jessica’s Law – which mandates a minimum 25-year prison sentence and lifetime electronic monitoring for adults convicted of lewd and lascivious acts against children under the age of 12.  Since then, the landscape for exploitation has shifted from in-person to online, SCP has continued to convene policymakers, advocates, and law enforcement to develop effective, actionable strategies to protect children. Learn more at https://www.stop-child-predators.org/.


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