Protecting children from exploitationPosted by Randy | December 14, 2012
While all eyes in Washington are rightfully focused on the fiscal cliff, I want to take a moment to update you on an issue that has always been a top priority of mine: protecting children. Last week, President Obama signed into law the Child Protection Act (H.R. 6063), legislation I cosponsored, to increase protections for innocent children against exploitation and bring their abusers to justice.
The purpose of the Act is twofold: to curb the spread of child pornography while also aggressively punishing those engaged in child abuse. This legislation increases the punishments for possession or creation of child pornography, raising the maximum penalty from 10 to 20 years. The bill also employs protective orders to shield children serving as witnesses from intimidation, coercion, or threats of violence. Further, the law reauthorizes and provides funding for training programs for regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces, which since 1998, have reviewed more than 280,000 complaints of alleged child sexual victimization resulting in the arrest of more than 30,000 individuals. Finally, the Act gives law enforcement authority to prioritize cases linked to crimes such as human trafficking, which often fuel the production of child pornography.
I think we can all agree that protecting children from abuse is an unquestionably worthy cause and is one of the many issues in which both Democrats and Republicans can find common ground. I am hopeful we can do the same with our budget deficit as we approach the fiscal cliff.
For more information on the fiscal cliff and how it will affect you, click here.
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