It was every parent's worst nightmare. At the age of 13, Alicia Kozakiewicz stepped outside her family home in Pittsburgh to meet a "friend" she'd met on the Internet. Instead, she met a monster, who abducted her, took her to his Virginia house and chained her in a basement. Four days later, Alicia was rescued by the FBI, thanks to a team with the expertise to follow clues back through the internet to her location. Now a young woman, Alicia is on a mission to make sure help is there for other children who need rescue. She knows that the vast majority of child victims are not abducted by strangers, they are prisoners in their own homes and circles of trust. But hundreds of thousands of their tormentors can be detected, located and stopped in much the same way Alicia's was: by following the trail of child pornography online, right to the doors of children in danger.
Alicia's Law is a model bill for child rescue funding for states. Alicia's Law creates a dedicated revenue source for law enforcement units that combat child sexual exploitation. By creating a new revenue stream, Alicia's Law builds permanent capacity for child rescue teams, revenue that will not fall victim to yearly fights over or cuts to the general budget. Alicia's Law focuses on securing state funding for the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces, a network of 61 task forces that makes up the backbone of U.S. capacity to fight child exploitation. The success and impact of Alicia's Law is measured solely in arrests and child rescues, and no funding is earmarked for nonprofit organizations or other related purposes.
PROTECT has conducted successful Alicia's Law campaigns in Virginia, Texas, Arizona, Hawaii and Idaho, with similar legislative victories in California and Tennessee. In 2015, Alicia's Law campaigns are planned in Arizona (to create permanent revenue stream), New Mexico, both Carolinas, Washington state and Kentucky.
The first Alicia's Law, enacted in Virginia, also included language expanding transparency and accountability in the justice and child protection systems. Alicia, along with other crime victims, believed that "you can pass all the laws in the world, but it won't matter if they're not used." In a series of updates to Alicia's Law, Virginia created the Virginia Child Protection Accountability System and expanded the requirements on public agencies to report performance data on crimes against children.