Congress Introduces Legislation to Rescue Children Who are Being Exploited Online


April 18, 2023

Contact: Erinn Robinson

Director of Media Relations

Congress Introduces Legislation to Rescue Children Who are Being Exploited Online

Bill Designates Funding for Law Enforcement and Prosecutors to Target the Most Dangerous Perpetrators and Distributors of Child Sexual Abuse Online

Washington, D.C. - A bipartisan group of members of Congress introduced a bill to prioritize the rescue of children in efforts to interdict child sexual exploitation offenders by providing law enforcement and prosecutors with new resources and tools.

Sens. John Cornyn, Amy Klobuchar, Chuck Grassley, Marsha Blackburn, Lindsey Graham, Richard Blumenthal, and Chris Murphy and Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Wesley Hunt yesterday introduced the Project Safe Childhood Modernization and Reauthorization Act. This bill updates the U.S. Justice Department’s Project Safe Childhood program, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing threat of child sexual exploitation and abuse. The program marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

“The volume of cybertips has ballooned in recent years and officers face an enormous backlog. Within these tips are countless children waiting to be identified and brought to safety, and offenders who have yet to be brought to justice,” said Stefan Turkheimer, RAINN’s interim vice president of public policy. “This legislation will provide law enforcement much-needed resources to identify and rescue child victims. We are hopeful that Congress will recognize this crisis as an urgent national priority and swiftly pass the Project Safe Childhood Modernization and Reauthorization Act.”

Facts about the child sexual exploitation crisis:

  • In 2022, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's CyberTipline received over 32 million reports, the highest number of reports ever received in one year.
  • In 2021, Department of Justice-funded undercover systems detected over 325,000 unique IP addresses distributing child sexual abuse material (CSAM), the majority of which are not being worked by law enforcement.
  • Studies say that more than 50% of suspects in CSAM-related crimes also commit hands-on offenses against children in their communities.
  • Less than 1% of all leads identified in undercover databases are currently under investigation due to limited resources.

This bill ensures that law enforcement and prosecutors prioritize the identification of offenders who commit both contact offenses and technology-facilitated crimes. It will also aid in prioritizing the rescue of thousands of children who have been seen in images but have not been identified. In addition, the bill will provide additional resources to address these cases, including 20 federal prosecutors dedicated to child sexual exploitation and abuse cases.



RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization, created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, help organizations improve their sexual assault prevention and response programs, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, free, confidential help is available 24/7 by calling 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visiting

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