We measure the impact of our Child Rescue program two ways: child predators arrested and children rescued. The following charts provide hard evidence that your support of the National Association to Protect Children and PROTECT is working. They also show the urgent need for our work to continue, as Washington tries to cut child rescue budgets. These impacts are for just one program, the ICAC Task Force program, and do not show PROTECT's powerful impact at the state level or on other federal programs.
ABOVE: Since 2006, we've been fighting in Congress to increase resources for combatting child sexual exploitation. Central to this is driving up the budget for America's 61 Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces. The ICACs are the backbone of U.S. capacity to fight this war. From 2006-2009, our efforts doubled base ICAC funding. In 2009-2010, our efforts secured $50 million in Recovery Act funding. In 2011-2012, we won major increases that would have doubled ICAC funding if Congress had passed a budget. Instead, we successfully fought off attempted budget cuts. In 2013, we continue our campaign to increase ICAC funding to $60 million. Renewed attempts to cut child rescue funding in FY13 make our work more important than ever. The "Obama FY13" bar is from the president's proposed budget, and is not yet law. Preventing these cuts is a major priority for PROTECT.
Our efforts have also been instrumental in driving up funding for the FBI's Innocent Images program, from $6 million to over $50 million (not show here).
ABOVE: As a direct result of our PROTECT Our Children Act of 2008, the nation's 61 ICAC task forces are required to prioritize child pornography cases where a local victim could be identified and report child rescues to the U.S. Justice Department. The graph above shows child rescues reported to DOJ. In the vast majority of cases, law enforcement is unable to mount an in-depth search for victims, and often does not know if a suspect is a hands-on offender. The downward trend in FY11-FY13 shows the catastrophic results of the refusal of Congress and the Administration to properly fund this child rescue effort ... and the urgent need for PROTECT to be there to fight for children.
ABOVE: Known child victims who are reported by the ICAC task forces to DOJ represent just the tip of the iceberg. The real impact of ICAC arrests is much greater. Conservative estimates indicate that at least 40% of child pornography possessors are "hands on offenders" with local child victims. Extensive research also suggests the average contact offender has multiple victims throughout his lifetime. If 40% of the suspects arrested by ICACs are hands-on offenders, and if those offenders have an average of 14 current and future victims (a conservative measure), the actual impact of these arrests exceed 30,000 children a year – children who are either rescued outright, have their abuser removed from access to them or are spared contact with an active sexual predator in the future.
Aggressive interdiction of child sexual exploitation is the surest form of child prevention ever, and entirely within our reach.