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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 9, 2020

U.S. Attorney Joins District Attorneys to Use Technology to Help Victims of Child Exploitation and Domestic Violence

Facebook Live Panel on July 10

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The District Attorneys of Alameda, Sacramento, and San Diego counties together with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California launched an online outreach campaign to help victims of domestic violence and child exploitation and abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The outreach campaign was created to combat unintended consequence of COVID-19 public health measures — an alarming rise in domestic violence with victims trapped at home with their abusers, and in child exploitation as more children are pushed online for longer periods of time with school and summer camp closures. The National Center of Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) runs the CyberTipline, a centralized, national reporting system for the online exploitation of children. In March 2019, NCMEC received 983,734 reports and in April 2019, NCMEC received approximately 1 million reports through its CyberTipline. In March 2020, NCMEC received over 2 million reports, 4.2 million reports in April 2020.

“Our shared goal in this campaign is to help children who are being exploited by online predators, and other child abuse and domestic violence victims who are isolated and at risk during this pandemic by using one of the only available means to reach them — technology,” said U.S. Attorney Scott. “Every time one of our posts is seen or shared, it’s a chance to save a life.”

The public awareness messages are visible on Facebook and other social media platforms with a new post made each day for two weeks, with the ad campaign continuing to run through July. The posts provide information for victims with resources, such as 24-hour hotlines and other services vital to reporting abuse. The posts also provide tips for concerned friends, relatives, and educators on how they can help victims of abuse. This outreach campaign has reached more than 142,000 people, and will continue to reach more people throughout July.

A Facebook Live panel on July 10 featuring U.S. Attorney Scott and the District Attorneys of Alameda, Sacramento, and San Diego counties will discuss the current challenges facing victims and survivors of domestic violence and child abuse, and will be moderated by Childhelp, a nonprofit organization aiding victims of child abuse.

Topic(s): 
Coronavirus
Violent Crime
Updated July 9, 2020