Toomey Co-Sponsors Measure To Protect Children From Predators And Human Traffickers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is working to keep child predators off of our streets, and to provide more resources for children who have been victimized.

Sen. Toomey has co-sponsored the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which increases criminal penalties for child pornography, child prostitution, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation of children. The bill also takes money from perpetrators and uses it to fund programs that help child victims, with $2 million going toward Child Advocacy Centers.

“As the father of three young children, I am dedicated to strengthening laws to keep child predators away from our children,” said Sen. Toomey. “Unfortunately, prevention is not enough. Too many of our children are preyed upon and need our help. These past months, I have had the opportunity to tour some of Pennsylvania’s 23 Child Advocacy Centers and have seen the important work they do helping abused children begin the healing process. I am proud that this bill will provide $2 million in additional funding for Child Advocacy Centers, along with an estimated $28 million in new funding for other services for abused children.”

“My fight to keep sexual predators out of America’s classrooms began more than 20 years ago, when I took on a teacher in my town’s high school. Since then, I have seen too many children who have lost their innocence and childhood to criminal acts committed by teachers, coaches, principals, custodians and other school staff. Sen. Toomey’s bill is a long overdue step to uncover predators currently in our schools and keep new predators away from our children,” said Terri Miller, President of S.E.S.A.M.E. (Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct & Exploitation).

“As District Attorney of Cumberland County and President of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, I see firsthand the devastation in my county and across the Commonwealth caused by sexual exploitation of our most precious resource — our children. Sen. Toomey’s bill will help us to secure justice for these victims by punishing the violators and supporting CACs, where healing begins. I applaud and thank Senator Toomey for his efforts on behalf of Pennsylvania’s children,” said Dave Freed, Cumberland County District Attorney and President of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.

“For a child who has been abused and victimized, healing begins at a Child Advocacy Center. Unfortunately, there are far too many kids across the country who do not have access to the critical services and support of a CAC when they are hurt. Child Advocacy Centers provide the model community response to child abuse, child trafficking, and exploitation because of their coordinated and comprehensive approach to every child victim and their focus on healing for every child and their family. Victims of child trafficking and abuse are our most vulnerable. The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act will be an important tool to help child victims heal from their abuse and move past the trauma they have endured. We owe this to our kids,” said Risa Vetri Ferman, Montgomery County District Attorney and Co-Founder of Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center.

“The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act will establish a new fund for programs that assist trafficking victims, including child victims. As a Child Advocacy Center dealing with victims of child sexual abuse every day, we applaud this bill supported by Sen. Toomey as another effort to help the most vulnerable, and often silent, victims in our society. Protecting these victims from harm, and helping them heal once harm has been done, is of paramount importance,” said Abbie Newman, Executive Director Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center.

“As a firsthand service provider for victims of sex trafficking, I applaud Sen. Toomey for sponsoring the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. The trauma and devastation I have seen to the innocent victims of this crime breaks my heart. They deserve a chance to heal and to have a rich and fulfilling life. Thank you Sen. Toomey for being a part of this life-changing legislation,” said Kim Checkeye, President of Truth for Women, Bethlehem, Pa.

“I applaud and thank Sen. Toomey for sponsoring the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. These heinous crimes again women, and especially children and teens, require a strong, comprehensive response. Combining support for law enforcement to combat trafficking at the local level, and increasing penalties against those who promote or patronize this evil against the vulnerable are critical elements. Once again, thank you to Sen. Toomey for advocating for the vulnerable, the victimized and the invisible,” said Lizette Olsen, Executive Director of AWARE, Mercer County Center.

“I’m very pleased to see bipartisan support for the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. If passed, this legislation will enhance the protections and provisions afforded to both labor and sex trafficking survivors in the United States. As a resident of Pennsylvania and as someone who has been working on this issue for over 10 years, I greatly appreciate Sen. Toomey’s position on this important Act,” said Dr. Mary C. Burke, Director, Doctoral Program in Counseling Psychology, Department of Psychology & Counseling at Carlow University.

“PPC recognizes the important work done by the Commonwealth’s Child Advocacy Centers and we are pleased to see grant opportunities for these centers to realize greater financial support. Child Advocacy Centers play a key role in the investigation of child abuse and provide critically important treatment to victims,” said Joan Benso, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, a statewide children’s advocacy organization.

The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act was authored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). In addition to Sen. Toomey, the bill is also supported by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Reps. Ted Poe (R-Texas), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), Kay Granger (R-Texas), and Candice Miller (R-Mich.).

Supporting the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act represents Sen. Toomey’s latest effort to strengthen federal laws to combat violent and sexual crimes against our most vulnerable. This past November, Sen. Toomey introduced a bill that requires schools to perform background checks on all new and existing employees, and bans schools from helping a child molester find a new teaching job.


Posted by on Feb 24 2014. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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