Our new favorite person, Special Agent Flint Waters of Wyoming's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, needs your help getting adequate funding to arrest the men who download and trade child pornography over the internet.
"They are not 15-year-old girls that look 20, they are 2-, 3-, 4-year-old children," Waters has said. "The age of the victim is getting younger, the level of violence is increasing."
So far Waters has been able to identify 570,000 computers in the U.S. that access crime scene photos of children being sexually abused, a.k.a. child porn, via P2P networks. He'd like to arrest ALL the criminals, but his office is understaffed due to lack of funds.
Why is Waters going after the viewers and not the abusers themselves, you ask? For one thing, quite often they're the same man. His research shows that over 30% of those who view child pornography are also active child molesters. Besides, as a spokesperson for the NPSCC puts it, "when an individual accesses the internet to view or download abusive images they are reinforcing the demand for children to be abused." The child pornography industry would not exist without a market.
Here's a quote from a survivor of child pornography, thanking the task force for its work:
"When I was a little girl and when I was being photographed and raped, I used to try to send messages with my eyes down the lens and hope that one day a good person might see and come to help us. It took years for me to realize no one was looking at my face. You saw our face and we want you to know that we know how hard this must have been."
Now back to the money problem. Waters says his office can handle seven warrants a month but gets up to 30 leads a day.
The Surviving Parents Coalition, a group formed last year, wants Congress to pass a bill that would more than double current funding to increase the number of forensic labs, federal-state task forces and federal agents to combat child pornography. The bill passed the House in November and is pending in the Senate.
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Promise to Protect
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Asheville, NC 28801