George E. B. Holding
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, March 23, 2007
PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD MEDIA CAMPAIGN
“Think Before You Post”
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced today that his office, in partnership with the United States Department of Justice, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the National Ad Council is participating in the release of a new phase of the Online Sexual Exploitation public service advertising campaign designed to educate teenagers, and in particular girls, about potential dangers of posting and sharing personal information online. The Think Before You Post campaign addresses that need. This effort is part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national strategy aimed at preventing child exploitation and ensuring that criminals who exploit children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level.
The prevalence of sexual victimization of children in the United States is overwhelming, yet largely unrecognized and underreported. Teenage girls are particularly at risk - a recent study found that approximately one in seven youths are sexually solicited online, and that of this group, 70% of those solicited were girls. Popular social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, Xanga, and Sconex encourage teens to post and share personal information and pictures, making them potentially vulnerable to online predators.
“As a father and as a prosecutor, I know Project Safe Childhood is important to our district,” said Holding. “We have shown over a very short period of time that local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in our district eagerly reach across agency lines to cooperate in the goal of ridding our district of child predators. Predators are not welcome here, our district is hostile territory for them.”
United States Attorney Holding added that not only will Project Safe Childhood continue to aggressively prosecute these types of cases, but that in April his office will begin a series of presentations to local Parent Teacher Associations to promote the message of Think Before You Post. Today’s media campaign will be launched nationally on television, radio, and newspapers. To view these public service announcements and find out more information about Project Safe Childhood, you can visit the Eastern District of North Carolina’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce. For more information on the National Campaign, please see the national press release.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.