United States Attorney Barbara McQuade Commemorates 10th Anniversary of Project Safe Childhood
More than 350 students and parents attended a community forum on Child Exploitation, Prevention and Enforcement hosted by Southgate Anderson High School this morning, announced United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade.
The event was held to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice nationwide initiative launched in 2006 to combat child sexual exploitation.
The event consisted of presentations from experienced prosecutors about the dangers of online activity, including how online predators extort children for sexually explicit images and videos. This criminal activity, commonly called sextortion, has become a growing concern across the country. U.S. Attorney McQuade and her assistant prosecutors highlighted some sextortion prosecutions, while former Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Erin Diamond described the latest technology and the dangers lurking online. The panel also provided parents and students with an opportunity to ask questions regarding their online activity.
"I have been astonished by the number of online predators who are extorting teens, McQuade said. "We need to tell teens that they should never be too ashamed to tell their parents or another adult that they have been the victim of sextortion. Reporting sextortion to police is the only way to stop a predator from exploiting you, and may also help rescue other victims."
The event provided an opportunity for the public to become more aware of the United States Attorney’s Offices aggressive approach to raising awareness and educating the public on ways to prevent the future sexual exploitation of children.
U.S. Attorney McQuade expressed thanks to Southgate Anderson High School Superintendent Leslie Hainrihar and Assistant Principal Dave Pinkowski for hosting the event and to the students and parents who attended and to the team of dedicated prosecutors and law enforcement who successfully put together the event.