LEADING ADVOCACY GROUPS LAUNCH NATIONAL CAMPAIGN CALLING FOR COMPREHENSIVE FEDERAL LEGISLATION TO END SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 12, 2022
CONTACT: Alyssa Villanueva| email@example.com
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Keep Kids Safe, a survivor-led movement of leading national experts and advocates in the prevention, healing, and justice of sexual violence against minors, today launched the “Power to Protect,” a national, bipartisan campaign urging federal lawmakers to implement bold and transformative action to protect children and adolescents from sexual violence and abuse. The comprehensive campaign is designed to educate lawmakers through letter writing, digital ads and more, aimed at spotlighting this issue for members of Congress to support the National Blueprint to End Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents.
Child-protection-focused policies, laws, and programs in the United States are underfunded, siloed, and fragmented, contributing to a public health emergency of child sexual abuse that affects 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys. In 2021, Children’s Advocacy Centers helped nearly 400,000 victims of child abuse, 249,000 of these were victims of child sexual abuse. Despite the extraordinary prevalence of this issue in communities nationwide, there continues to be an insufficient federal response to solving a systemic challenge that is national in scope and affecting millions of children and adolescents across America. To address this, the National Blueprint details pragmatic policy recommendations and solutions that could be used to accomplish reform including possible comprehensive national legislation – “The Keep Kids Safe Act”, creating a bipartisan commission for child protection, convening a federal interagency task force, establishing a data working group, and mobilizing targeted financial resources for proven programs to address the problem head on. The annual economic impact of child sexual abuse in the U.S. is far-reaching and costly – in 2015, the total economic burden was approximately $9.3 billion.
“We are in the midst of an epidemic of sexual violence against children and adolecents – and survivors and advocates across the country are standing up to demand action,” said C. Alexandria-Bernard Thomas, a survivor and Sole Proprietor of C. Thomas Works, a supporter of the Keep Kids Safe Movement. “The need is urgent and the time is now – survivors deserve prevention, healing, justice, and accountability from our leaders. This isn’t a political issue, but rather an issue of fundamental human rights and a truly bipartisan crisis that lawmakers from the left, right and center have the opportunity to address today.”
“It has been nearly six years since hundreds of survivors began publicly coming forward against Larry Nassar – but despite this, the federal government has yet to take meaningful action to prevent what happened to us from happening to others,” said Grace French, a survivor and President and Founder of The Army of Survivors, a member of the Keep Kids Safe Movement. “The current patchwork of weak safeguarding laws and lack of support for survivors has created an environment that has protected perpetrators instead of children. Congress has an opportunity to change that – and it starts with supporting the National Blueprint to End Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents.”
“It is the responsibility of all adults to protect children and adolescents from sexual violence and abuse,” said Katelyn N. Brewer, President & CEO of Darkness to Light and Co-Founder and Chair of the Keep Kids Safe Movement. “The National Blueprint is an opportunity to chart a new course that prioritizes the safety and well-being of every child through commonsense solutions. As a movement of survivors and allies, we are committed to creating a safer world, free from the threat of sexual violence. Implementing this plan on a broad scale is the first step to doing just that.”
You can read the National Blueprint to End Sexual Violence Against Children and Adolescents here. Federal recommendations include:
- Develop and pass into law comprehensive national legislation, the “Keep Kids Safe Act,” and include an expanded annual budget request and appropriations to provide adequate resources;
- Expand federal incentives for state laws to increase the reach of trauma-informed and evidence-based prevention;
- Establish a diverse bipartisan “Keep Kids Safe Commission” by congressional statute or executive action;
- Create an interagency task force dedicated to prevention of sexual violence against children and healing and justice for survivors;
- Direct and fund research focused on sexual violence against children and adolescents.
The Keep Kids Safe movement includes Darkness to Light, The Army of Survivors, SNAP, Together for Girls, National Children’s Alliance, and Monique Burr Foundation for Children.
For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact Alyssa Villanueva at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Keep Kids Safe Movement
The Keep Kids Safe Movement is a powerful partnership between organizations, survivors, and allies focused on ending sexual violence against children and adolescents, online and offline, in all its forms – child sexual abuse, incest, child sexual exploitation, rape, sexual violence in dating relationships, and sexual violence among peers. The movement is focused on inclusive, comprehensive, bold and transformative action from leaders including: prevention to protect this and every generation to come, healing for victims, survivors, and their families, and justice for victims and survivors and accountability for perpetrators and institutions who covered up the abuse. For more information, visit our website HERE.