From MassKids <[email protected]>
Subject Alert on the Crisis of Online Child Sexual Exploitation
Date January 31, 2024 7:51 PM
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January 31, 2024

Alert on the Crisis of Online Child Sexual Exploitation

Today in Congress, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a[1] public hearing
on the crisis of online Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and how X (formerly
Twitter), TikTok, Snap (Snapchat), Meta (Facebook and Instagram) and
Discord are contributing to the crisis and should improve their policies to
protect children. Currently, 9 bills are being considered in Congress to
address the problem.[2] Click here for a MassKids summary of what they
would do.

Meanwhile, as we await federal action, several states are focused on
strengthening their own laws to build online protections for children. For
* MassKids is currently working with Massachusetts legislators and
parents to draft a bill that would prohibit persons from developing and
sharing images of children that are edited, collaged, morphed or
* MassKids supports[3] An Act to Prevent Abuse and Exploitation - a bill
that would establish an educational program on the legal and non-legal
consequences of sexting to educate youth charged with disseminating,
producing or possessing CSAM.

MassKids strongly advocates for passage of[4] a set of CSA prevention bills
that would: require CSA prevention education of staff and children in
schools and youth organizations; standardize screening of prospective new
school employees to prevent hiring those with histories of sexual
misconduct and abuse of students; criminalize sexual abuse by adults in
positions of authority, including educators, regardless of the age of
consent. [5]Urge your legislators to move these bills out of committee now
and onto the floor for passage where we expect unanimous support.

Some facts you should know:
1. In 2023 alone, over 36 million reports of child sexual abuse material
(CSAM) were received by the National Center on Missing and Exploited
2. In 2023, 186,000 children were victims of online sextortion (an
increase from 80,000 in 2022). Sextortion is when someone threatens to
share sexual images of a child online if the child doesn’t meet their
demands for money or for more sexual images.
3. 20 cases of suicide by youth have been reported in response to their
facing sextortion threats or having their images posted.
4. Most perpetrators of online crimes against children are not “dangerous
strangers” but are people with legitimate access to them, including parents
(biological, step or adoptive), relatives, babysitters, neighbors, etc.
5. Two-thirds of online sexual imagery of children appear to have been
produced in the home.

MassKids pledges to continue educating ourselves and you, our supporters,
about the disturbing impact of sexual abuse and exploitation on children
and how citizens can support efforts to strengthen our laws and policies to
protect children.

For more information about Internet Safety for children and parents, visit
our [6]Enough Abuse website.

Stay connected:

Follow the Enough Abuse Campaign on X, Facebook and Instagram!

[7]Facebook [8]Twitter [9]Instagram
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