A bill has been introduced in Congress that would authorize the spending of billions of dollars over the next decade that would increase the ability of federal, state, and local law enforcement to fight online child sex abuse. The New York City sexual abuse attorneys at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. want to discuss this proposal and how it could change the landscape of these cases.
Lawmakers have introduced the Invest in Child Safety Act, which would authorize spending $5 billion over 10 years in an effort to expand anti-child abuse divisions at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The money would also be used to let the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) hire more investigators and therapists as well as increase funding for the state and local Internet Crimes Against Children task forces.
Inside the proposed law is also a requirement that tech companies preserve evidence of abuse for 180 days as opposed to the 90 days currently required by law.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a sponsor of the bill, says that “Nothing is more heinous than the sexual abuse of a child, but our ability to combat these crimes has not kept up with technology. This critical legislation will give federal law enforcement and prosecutors the tools to take on the scourge of child exploitation, prevent its occurrence and support victims and their families.”
Estimates show that tech companies reported more than 45 million instances of child sexual abuse material being distributed online. This bill, according to senators involved, is designed to detect and prosecute sex crimes against children as well as to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Data shows us that most child sex abuse victims know their abusers. In many cases, abusers are members of the child’s own household or close relatives. Often, abusers take photographs or videos of child victims and then distribute them online. The Invest in Child Safety Act would give law enforcement and prosecutors more tools to fight this kind of abuse.
We want to point out that the National Sex Abuse Hotline has seen a dramatic increase in minors reporting sexual abuse from those within their household since stay at home orders went into effect due to COVID-19. These orders have had the unintended consequence of keeping abusers and their victims in the same household for longer periods of time.
If you or somebody you love has been the victim of child sexual abuse, please seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., our dedicated team has vast experience handling these cases. We will thoroughly investigate what happened to you and work to secure any compensation you are entitled to. This can include coverage for pain and suffering damages, payment for any counseling necessary come as well as punitive damages against abusers or those who covered up the abuse. When you need a New York child sex abuse attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 866-597-8572.