Making progress for victims of abuse in Texas
I just wanted to share with y’all the email I got yesterday from Protect.org
Victory in Texas!
They said it couldn’t be done—not in Texas, not this year—but we did it!
In the middle of one of the worst budget crises in the U.S., PROTECT has secured passage of Alicia’s Law, a major expansion of funding for the men and women struggling to rescue Texas children from sexual exploitation and abuse.
What the Law Does
In Dallas, Houston and Austin, three law enforcement task forces (covering the entire state) will get $3 million in state funding over the next two years. Alicia’s Law also makes Texas the first state in the nation to give its Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) officers special subpoena power to get suspect information from ISP’s fast.
What it Means to Children
Survivors of child sexual abuse know that if they were being abused today chances are their tormentor would have child abuse images on his computer. Hundreds of thousands of these “child pornography collectors” have been located by authorities in the U.S., but they remain at large due to lack of resources to go get them. Alicia’s Law funds will enable investigators to follow that trail of child pornography traffic “back through the Internet,” right to the door of children in need of protection, often in their own homes. That makes the $3 million in Alicia’s Law funding the most effective money Texas ever spent to prevent child sexual abuse.
Who Made it Happen
Alicia’s Law was sponsored by Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas), Rep. John Frullo (R-Lubbock) and Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine). Behind the scenes at every stage was Texas’ powerful Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who made it clear that funding Alicia’s Law when popular programs were being slashed was his personal priority.
Thanks also to our partners: the Surviving Parents Coalition, National Sheriff’s Association, the Fraternal Order of Police and Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT). And we’re proud of our PROTECT warriors on the ground, David Keith and Camille Cooper.
Credit goes first and foremost to our members and supporters. Behind the scenes this time, you were joined by a very generous and powerful group of Dallas women and men. Their quiet phone calls and emails to Austin made all the difference.
It’s great that places in America are trying so hard to protect their children from predators. States like California and Nevada have a ONE strike and you’re out policy, Texans are trying their best to protect kids here, as well as stop child sex trafficking from across the border. I’ll have to take a photo of some of the billboards up around town about that.
My best friend just moved and we went over to her place for dinner the other night, and it was nice being able to pull out my phone and do a neighbourhood check to make sure there were no registered sex offenders close by. She felt better knowing there was none on her block.
Alicia’s Law shows that if enough concerned citizens stand up and say what they think, that laws can be changed. We can help to protect our kids.
It’s a great day to live in Texas!