Last week on Oprah, the show highlighted the dangers, risks and prevalence of Internet predators. During the show, Oprah talked about a startling reality: recent news reports reveal most states will not be in compliance with the National Sex Offender Registry law by the upcoming July 2009 deadline. The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which helped establish this law, was passed on July 25, 2006 – 25 years after Adam Walsh’s abduction (If you want to learn more about Adam Walsh’s story, click here). It was a bill that Adam’s father, John Walsh, lobbied long and hard for, as he has spent nearly 28 years campaigning for children’s safety – both on- and offline.
The story hits close to home for us at Operation Kids and many of our supporters due to the close relationship that we formed with John Walsh as we honored him with an Operation Kids Lifetime Achievement Award this fall. We were touched by his tragic story and the work he has done to keep children safe.
This March in Utah alone, the ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce) arrested 13 child internet predators, and seized several computers and internet files that will lead to dozens more arrests. (For more details, click here). The sting continues through April, and they anticipate arresting even more! Think about the risk kids are at if this is going on in just one state.
And yet, with funding being cut, several measures in place to keep children safe are at risk. This is one area in which you can take action and help keep this law in place! You can go to Oprah’s page on the subject, where you can get information on how to send a letter to your senators and representatives to help keep this act funded. Pick up the phone, send an e-mail, write a letter, sign a petition … spread the word.