The statistics on the Parents Against Predators Act (P.A.P.A.) Web site are appalling and frightening:
It is estimated that a sexual assault occurs every 2.5 minutes in the the United States and more than 200,000 people in the United States are victims of sexual assault; 1 in every 6 females and 1 of every 33 males in the United States have been victims of rape or attempted rape, according the Department of Justice.
To date, with nearly 600,000 convicted sex offenders, there remains no social responsibility with regard to ISP’s and website owners as to excluding certain individuals from accessing their services.
Imagine the permanent damage done to a teenager or pre-teen who is sexually assaulted by someone she considers a friend after hours of chatting or playing video games. Parents like to think their child would never agree to meet a stranger, but young people don’t always recognize danger that seems obvious to adults. They don’t realize the “15-year-old boy” they’ve been chatting with and think they know is really a 45-year-old convicted sexual predator.
Convicted sex offenders are prohibited from being around children in the real world, but they have complete freedom to contact children in the virtual world. P.A.P.A. would remedy that.
P.A.P.A. would federally mandate that all websites providing electronic communication to minor children (chats, multi-user gaming, social networking) would have their auto-responder cross reference against the National Sex Offender Registry when an individual attempts to subscribe to their service. If listed in this registry, that individual would be prohibited from that site’s areas where children congregate.
This act won’t stop all sexual predators from contacting and harming children. Many sexual predators will not be included, either because they are committing their first offense or because they haven’t been brought to justice on prior offenses. However, preventing the 600,000 convicted sex offenders from having access to children online will make a huge difference.
In addition, the campaign in support of the legislation includes education on Internet safety. Read the details of the 4 Pronged Internet Safety Model Supporting PAPA Legislation.
Mihaela Lica at eWritings designed and donated the Web site for the campaign and put out a call for support on her blog. Although it took me longer than expected to answer the call, I’m spreading the word and, as Mihaela requested, praying. I hope you will add your support to this campaign for the safety of our young people on the Internet.
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, we pray for the safety of our children on the Internet. You said, “Let the little children come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” You also told us to stand strong against evil. We stand today against evil and for the protection of children. Bless this cause, O Lord, that it may lead to the protection of children. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
[tags]Parents Against Predators Act, P.A.P.A., Internet safety[/tags]