Oprah Winfrey goes after Internet predators, pleads with America to support Child Protection Act. Ill. Sens. Obama and Durbin support bill.

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091508oprah.JPG Chances are they're sitting next you in church. They live next door to you. They're professional manipulators.

They're Internet child predators. And they're a bigger problem than Oprah Winfrey and you probably ever imagined.

Winfrey pleaded Monday with America to take a stand against child pornography and predators -- an issue that's exploded far more than most of us ever could have imagined.

It's an issue many of those who haven't been affected by it don't realize is there or how big it's become. You know it's happening somewhere, but not to what extent.

With red dots popping up on a U.S. map to show the average number of pedofiles in a given day that trade pornographic images, Winfrey showed just how much of a problem child pornography has become. Within a matter of seconds, the number of red dots exploded across the map to a sickening level.

"The number of predophiles and child pornographers online would literally blow your mind, and the demand is so high for new material that the videos and photographs are getting more brutal with younger and younger baby victims," Winfrey said.

In an attempt to shock viewers into action, Winfrey read aloud an instruction manual circulating around the Internet telling predators just how to molest and rape girls as little as newborn babies. It told how to use pacifiers to penetrate children. It told the size pencil predators should use to penetrate girls depending on their age. It also told how to videotape it, and how to not get caught.

Winfrey's push was to support Senate Bill 1738 -- a piece of legislation before the U.S. Senate this month to create jobs and resources to help put child predators behind bars.

Representatives from Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Dick Durbin's offices said via telephone Monday that they are both co-sponsors of the bill and support its passing.

"This has nothing to do with the politics, it has everything to do with us putting our money as a nation where our talk has been and doing something, actually putting the funding behind what is necessary to catch these [predators]," Winfrey said. "This is a dark evil prevading our country and we're not going to change it unless we provide the money."

Even Winfrey herself said she didn't know how big of a problem online child predators were until going into this show.

"We've heard this for years -- that the Internet is the Wild Wild West for predators and for these images. I don't think that most of us have a clue what's really going on."

This isn't the first time Winfrey's gone after child predators
- In 1991, Winfrey testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in support of a national database of convicted child abusers. The "Oprah Bill" was signed into law in 1993.
- In 2005, Winfrey launched the "Oprah's Child Predator Watch List" and pledged a $100,000 reward per case for information that leads to the arrest of fugitives featured on her show and Web site. Nine of the featured fugitives have been captured, Harpo said.

The facts:
-Officials only are able to investigate two percent of the leads they get. Why? Because they're largely understaffed and can't handle tracking every case.
-Agents at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children scan through up to 200,000 images a week of child porn being traded on the Internet
-Three out of four children being abused know the person who is abusing them.


-About the Protecting our Children Bill:

-Will authorize over $320 million over the next five years in desperately needed funding -for law enforcement to investigate child exploitation.
-Mandate that child rescue be a top priority for law enforcement receiving federal funding.
-Allocate funds for high-tech computer software that can track down Internet predators.

Call Your Senators
If you choose to contact your senators by phone, be sure to tell them, "Vote yes on Senate Bill 1738--The PROTECT Our Children Act." Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Dick Durbin both already support the bill.

Write to Your Senators
If you choose to write a letter, fax, telegram or e-mail, you may use the following sample letter--and modify it how you see fit.

Dear Senator:

I know that you believe, like I do, that we must do everything possible to protect children from sexual predators. That is why I am asking for your help.

Last year alone, U.S. law enforcement identified over 300,000 criminals who were trafficking in movies and pictures of young children being raped and tortured. Experts say that one in every three of these criminals has local child victims. Child pornography trafficking over the Internet has given us a trail of evidence that leads straight to their doorsteps, but the vast majority of these children will never be rescued because investigators are overwhelmed, outnumbered and underfunded.

As your constituent, I urge you to do everything in your power to pass the PROTECT Our Children Act (S. 1738, Biden-Hatch). This bipartisan legislation passed the House 415-2, but it is now the victim of petty partisan politics.

Now that we know where these children are and how to protect them, there is no excuse for the Senate to fail to take action this session.

(Your name here)

Instructions for How to Copy and Paste the Letter
To copy and paste the letter into your senator's web form at www.senate.gov, point your mouse arrow at the beginning of the text that you want to copy. Click your left mouse button and hold it down. While holding the left mouse button, drag your arrow to the end of the text that you want to copy. Release the button. The text should be highlighted. Place your mouse arrow over the highlighted text, click your right mouse button once and let go. A new menu should appear. Select Copy from the drop down menu. When you get to the message form field for your senator at www.senate.gov, point your arrow at the beginning of the message field that you want to copy your text to and right click with your mouse. Click Paste from this menu. Submit your form and help our children!

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18 Comments

Hi Oprah,
I'm from South Africa and last night i saw your show about this child abuse and it absulotely shocked me. What can i do to help?

Seem strange that we want to spend so much money on the Internet lock system when their will always be someone who can bypass that system and I am sure the way the coalition operates their are few pedo's who can afford a computer anymore. I would rather look in Fort Knox for gold and the out come would quite likely have the same end. The American people come up short every time. Leaman's is down and we still need to spend on a credit account created to show us how human we really are. And he has every hair counted, like the sands of the sea but we can't love ourselves enough to believe one another when some arbitrator's, Judge or Psych can tell you your life is of no consequence by his/her belief in your words back by a science project toy called a lie detector where the ones capable of passing such test are true psychopaths. Time to find that magic bag of tricks to justify this foolishness.

As utterly horrible as any kind of child exploitation is, and as much as it needs to stop, people tend to let their blind outrage get the better of them, and politicians tend to take advantage of that blind outrage, using it for political advancement.

I'm not disagreeing with the idea of cracking down on predators - I'm all for it. I'm just cautioning eveyone to be careful about what they agree to. Sometimes other bills that have entirely seperate motives are tied along with bills like this, because politicians know people will be too outraged to read the fine print - and often those hidden bills involve painful tax increases or restrictions on intellectual freedom.

Please, never give up the war against child predators! But also be careful what you swallow. There are things we can do on our own, apart from the law, to protect our children, too.

The reasons given that this bill must be passed usually come down to providing staffing and providing funding.

Tell you what: get law enforcement to quit pretending to be children for the sake of a high-profile "sting," then use that manpower and money to protect REAL CHILDREN.

Law enforcement doesn't need a new bill, new money, and new power. Instead, they need to decide if it's more important to pretend to be a child, or to pursue saving a real, currently endangered child.

What is more important, our children or the War in Irag.For what is saw on the show air 9/15/2008 our future children needs help now! and no one is paying attention, but Oprah and a few others. It is a important that this bill be pass. Oprah Please send the letter to everyone who send you email asking for money and want tickets for your show.

I am so glad that this issue is finally captivating people in a way that will actually move them into action. Go call your Senator!

Thank to Oprah for her continued vigilance on this horrific traffic. I am proud that she is gutsy enough to ignore the critics and continue with this worthy fight.

She has been fighting this battle a long time and for one to accuse of her political expediency is narrow and vindictive. Small minded people still exist.
NE

Please help stop this horrendous evil of child abuse, child pornorgraphy & sex trafficing of children that is invading our nation rapidly. This could be your child next, your grandchild, niece, neighber........it affects all of us. Please God, help all the "good" people of this nation to stand up, speak loudly & stop this evil towards our children NOW! ! !

Oprah Winfrey is to be commended for her continuing campaign against Internet predators and sexual predaters.

I urge everyone to support the Child Protection Act.

Children have to be protected in every way possible by strong laws on the federal level.

Federal laws, as most of us know, have no statutes of limitation.

Don't think, however, that this is enough. The laws in too many states are sorely deficient.

All criminal and civil statutes of limitation regarding the sexual abuse of children need to be removed along with the passage of a civil window of at least two to five years to hold accountable sexual predators of all stripes along with any enabling persons or institutions whether they belong to the medical or educational professions, religious denominations of whatever.

Landmark legislation was made in Delaware with the passage of THE CHILD VICTIMS LAW which was signed on July 10, 2007 which includes a civil window of two years for previously time barred cases of abuse BY ANYONE.

VISIT:

www.childvictimsvoice.com

www.napsac.us

www.abolishsexabuse.org

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish SNDdeN
Victims' Advocate
maureenpaulturlish@yahoo.com

This is a truly deserving cause but please educate yourself about everything contained in the bill before you decide to back it. It is loaded with other completely unrelated spending. Earmarks???

Exploiting an exploited child? Give me a break! Have you heard of the term bipartisan? I can't think of a better time to be trying to get this critically important bill passed. Why not shine the light on this disturbing problem during an election so that people can be aware and press their representatives to vote for this bill.
Instead of griping about politics, why not stand up for democracy and write your senator a letter asking him/her to support this. That would be a better use of your time.

How do I make a difference in this battle? I will simply leave a comment to acknowledge that I support this cause. Not only are internet predators a problem and disgusting...but they taint the internet in general. The internet is a tool we can hopefully one day educate our children on how to use properly and effectively free from the threat of these creeps. Oprah has only drawn attention to this obvious MASSIVE issue. How can my "vote/email" count"...please help me so I can make it matter. Just some direction...I am a Canadian and my vote for senators or US presidents will not matter. Internet and everything that protects our children is an INTERNATIONAL issue. Please reply so I can try to make a difference.
Derek

What Oprah didn't tell you...(regarding her show (9/15/2008) on Protect Our Children Act ).

Congress and the Senate have been trying to pass bill to protect our children over the past 2 years. Joe Biden sponsered the bill back in 2007 and Sen. Tom Coburn opposes it, saying he wants to stop redundant programs and reduce federal spending.

The more you research Coburn, the more you will learned he is one of those senators that is really trying to cut down on spending. They have even developed a nick name for him "Coburn Omnibus". To counter the spending, he introduced a comprehensive child exploitation bill that would have been linked Biden's Protect Our Children Act of 2007 to the Securing Adolescents from Exploitation Online (SAFE) Act of 2007, minus all the excess bills and spending. But Democrats objected.

You see, there is a battle going on in congress, and this one is between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Tom Coburn. Coburn has stopped many of Reids bills from passing due to abundant spending...so Reid came up with a plan.

The official bill is S. 3297, the Advancing America's Priorites Act
Underneith it are 36 additional bills...one which includes S. 1738 - Protect Our Children Act of 2008.

In order for this bill to pass it would mean the entire bill would need to pass...and that is why it failed in 2007. Reid is excited to have Oprah pressuring you to help his goal. But before you take additional action...look through the 36 other bills and then question if you are willing to have every family pay at least $65 in taxes for this one bill...when a slimmed down version would only cost $4.93. (see link for pricing)

This email is NOT about the elections...it is about creating awareness and giving you the full story before you are convinced by ANY public figure how to move forward. More wasteful governement spending? You decide.

http://www.washingtonwatch.com/blog/2008/07/24/the-coburn-omnibus-36-bills-in-one/

I just want to see the research that shows an epidemic of babies being raped by pedophiles. It's very shocking to hear of course, but it doesn't mean much to me if there's no way to prove it's actually going on. I remember when everyone thought kids from Myspace were getting raped by pedos and the numbers showed that it was totally untrue and hyped up by the media. Oprah was on that bandwagon too. Does credibility count here?

Pedophiles and the crimes they commit are far more wide spread the most of the population understands. Both girls and boys are victims of these predators. Please encourage your senators to adopt this bill.

Please Senator, approve funding for this plague on our American citizenship. Our children our being hurt.

Dear Senator Cochran,

Please support the "Protect Our Children Act" (Bill 1738). Please, don't leave for home until you pass this bill.

Which Russian leader predicted that the United States will corrupt
from the inside? The number of predators of children seems to be growing exponentially. There must be a way to protect our children while defending our Bill of Rights. We are an intelligent people.

I don't seem to be intelligent enough to copy and paste the excellent letter Oprah's staff composed but I'm trusting you'll get many copies.

I also am going to trust that you are a Christian!

Sincerely,
Gloria Whitfield

I don't know what's worse. An exploited child or exploiting an exploited child for political gain. Has it really deteriorated to this?

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Bieganski published on September 15, 2008 1:03 PM.

Oprah Winfrey tops list of Hollywood's most generous celebrities was the previous entry in this blog.

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