RAINN's Speakers Bureau Members Virtually #ActWithRAINN

For the Virtual Day of Action, RAINN employees and members of RAINN's Speakers Bureau united in a powerful display of commitment, engaging in prevention and advocacy initiatives aimed at eradicating the presence of child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Survivors, from across the nation, attended congressional meetings, shared their stories, and explained the importance of passing legislation to combat CSAM.

Survivors shared how the Project Safe Childhood Act, EARN IT Act, SHIELD Act, and the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act are essential in protecting children and helping survivors through their healing journey. Survivors and RAINN’s Policy team met with 11 House and Senate offices. See below for more information on these vital bills.

Project Safe Childhood Act will help law enforcement identify CSAM offenders who are also actively sexually abusing children. It will also fund training for prosecutors and law enforcement to use investigative technology that identifies CSAM offenders, and fund additional federal prosecutors to focus on CSAM cases.

EARN IT Act incentivizes technology companies to proactively search for and remove CSAM from their platforms. It also allows prosecutors to pursue criminal sanctions and CSAM survivors to obtain civil remedies against social media and technology companies that knowingly facilitate or profit from the distribution of CSAM. It also updates federal statutes to use the term “child sexual abuse materials” instead of “child pornography.” (This change is consistent with RAINN’s policy to call it what it is. These pictures and videos are not pornography; they are evidence of the sexual abuse of children.)

The bill also extends the time that electronic service providers are required to preserve the contents of the reports they send to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children from 90 days to one year. This change will aid law enforcement, who are inundated with reports, by providing more time to properly review the contents.

SHIELD Act: The SHIELD Act criminalizes the distribution of private, sexually explicit, and/or nude images without consent. It also fills in gaps in existing law that prevent prosecutors from holding accountable those who share explicit images of children.

Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act: Each year, 120,000-200,000 children are placed in residential programs. News reports have documented abuse, neglect, and over 350 deaths in these facilities. However, these programs tend to be subjected to little or no oversight or accountability. The Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act directs the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to study the use of restrictive interventions in youth residential programs. It bill will also implement recommendations from the Government Accountability Office and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, including promoting the dissemination of best practices for identifying and preventing institutional child abuse.

What does it mean when a member of Congress sponsors or co-sponsors legislation?

When a member of Congress is a sponsor on a bill that means that he or she is leading the efforts to advance the bill. This also means that the member introduced the bill in their respective chamber (House or Senate). A co-sponsor is a member that publicly supports the bill.

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