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Sen. Toomey co-sponsors measure to protect children from predators and human trafficking

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is working to keep child predators off of our streets, and to provide more resources for children who have been victimized.
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is working to keep child predators off of our streets, and to provide more resources for children who have been victimized.

Sen. Toomey has co-sponsored the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which increases criminal penalties for child pornography, child prostitution, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation of children. The bill also takes money from perpetrators and uses it to fund programs that help child victims, with $2 million going toward Child Advocacy Centers.

“As the father of three young children, I am dedicated to strengthening laws to keep child predators away from our children,” said Sen. Toomey. “Unfortunately, prevention is not enough. Too many of our children are preyed upon and need our help. These past months, I have had the opportunity to tour some of Pennsylvania’s 23 Child Advocacy Centers and have seen the important work they do helping abused children begin the healing process. I am proud that this bill will provide $2 million in additional funding for Child Advocacy Centers, along with an estimated $28 million in new funding for other services for abused children.”

“My fight to keep sexual predators out of America’s classrooms began more than 20 years ago, when I took on a teacher in my town’s high school. Since then, I have seen too many children who have lost their innocence and childhood to criminal acts committed by teachers, coaches, principals, custodians and other school staff. Sen. Toomey’s bill is a long overdue step to uncover predators currently in our schools and keep new predators away from our children,” said Terri Miller, President of S.E.S.A.M.E. (Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct & Exploitation).

“I applaud and thank Sen. Toomey for sponsoring the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. These heinous crimes again women, and especially children and teens, require a strong, comprehensive response. Combining support for law enforcement to combat trafficking at the local level, and increasing penalties against those who promote or patronize this evil against the vulnerable are critical elements. Once again, thank you to Sen. Toomey for advocating for the vulnerable, the victimized and the invisible,” said Lizette Olsen, Executive Director of AWARE, Mercer County Center.

“I'm very pleased to see bipartisan support for the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. If passed, this legislation will enhance the protections and provisions afforded to both labor and sex trafficking survivors in the United States. As a resident of Pennsylvania and as someone who has been working on this issue for over 10 years, I greatly appreciate Sen. Toomey's position on this important Act,” said Dr. Mary C. Burke, Director, Doctoral Program in Counseling Psychology, Department of Psychology & Counseling at Carlow University.

The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act was authored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). In addition to Sen. Toomey, the bill is also supported by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Reps. Ted Poe (R-Texas), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), Kay Granger (R-Texas), and Candice Miller (R-Mich.).

Supporting the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act represents Sen. Toomey’s latest effort to strengthen federal laws to combat violent and sexual crimes against our most vulnerable. This past November, Sen. Toomey introduced a bill that requires schools to perform background checks on all new and existing employees, and bans schools from helping a child molester find a new teaching job.
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