National Foundation for Women Legislators: Ending Child Pornography, Exploitation

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Because women leaders think strategically, readily forge coalitions, and are problem solvers, women legislators are uniquely positioned to work with federal, state, and local law enforcement to end child pornography and Internet exploitation. For this reason, members of the National Foundation for Women Legislators are working hand in hand with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to implement Project Safe Childhood, which is designed to enhance national and local responses to the threats imposed upon children across the country.

"Because women leaders think strategically, readily forge coalitions, and are problem solvers, women legislators are uniquely positioned to work with federal, state, and local law enforcement to end child pornography and Internet exploitation," said Robin Read, President and CEO of the National Foundation for Women Legislators (http://www.womenlegislators.org). For this reason, NFWL members are working hand in hand with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to implement Project Safe Childhood, which is designed to enhance national and local responses to the threats imposed upon children across the country.

"At the request of the Department of Justice, over the next 90 days many of the NFWL's Shoulder to Shoulder Team Leaders will work with their local U.S. Attorneys' offices to develop localized plans on a number of fronts. They will work to maximize integration of law enforcement efforts, local execution of leads from national operations, and community awareness and education programs," said Read. These plans will include partnering with the Internet Crimes Against Children task forces, federal investigators, state and local law enforcement officials, and community leaders and organizations.

The NFWL is a non-partisan non-profit organization that provides sitting women legislators with strategic resources to hone their leadership and governing skills. "We present local, state, and federal policymakers – who happen to be women – with information they can use to direct public policy about topics of concern to all Americans," said Read.

The NFWL's Shoulder to Shoulder Team Leader Program was created in 2001 to address widespread issues introduced in NFWL's Crime, Justice, Terrorism, and Substance Abuse Policy Committee. Through this program, the NFWL has partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration to combat the influx of ecstasy, club drugs, and methamphetamine into local communities. The NFWL has also partnered with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to find effective solutions to rising recidivism rates and substance abuse in the nation's prisons, and with the U.S. Department of Justice on several issues that include Human Trafficking, Missing Persons, and Unidentified Remains. Team Leaders coordinate efforts between multi-levels of government to address these important issues.

Partnering with the DOJ to implement Project Safe Childhood is simply the latest initiative supported by those in the NFWL's membership. "Our women elected officials know how important it is to protect our children and are fully dedicated to implementing effective and lasting solutions that will deter and put an end to internet predators," Read concluded.

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