Stopping Online Child Sexual Exploitation in Backpage.com

Wonderful news coming out of Washington State Legislature (Olympia, Washington, USA) as the most significant anti-trafficking legislation got signed into law by Washington Governor, Christine Gregoire. A ton of credit goes to the always abolitionist state senator, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the primary sponsor of this Senate Bill 6251, who said, “I am ecstatic this anti-trafficking legislation is now law, the first of its kind in the country. This makes the strongest possible statement that there should be no selling of minors online – or anywhere.”

The press release goes on to say: “Backpage.com, whose parent company is The Village Voice (The Seattle Weekly’s parent company), makes at least $22 million a year from online adult escort ads, but refuses to verify the ages of those who place the ads or are depicted in them, even though its print edition published in the Seattle Weeklyrequires in-person age verification. This results in minors being sold online into prostitution and sex-trafficking. All state attorneys general have called on Backpage.com to stop selling online adult escort ads.

Kohl-Welles’ bill creates a new offense, making it illegal to knowingly publish an escort ad that involves a minor. To avoid possible criminal charges, classified advertising companies will be motivated to try to verify ages of escorts in sex-related postings. The new law offers an affirmative defense to prosecution for advertising commercial sexual abuse of a minor if the advertiser can produce documentation showing a bona fide attempt to verify the age of the person in the ad.”

To read the entire bill, go here

Although this is a great day and much reason to celebrate, I hope one day we can see the end of sexual exploitation online or anywhere for anyone. All people should not be exploited for any reason whether they are girls, boys, women, or men.

Fyi, The Village Voice Media owns:

Backpage.com
City Pages, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Dallas Observer, Dallas, Texas
Houston Press, Houston, Texas
LA Weekly, Los Angeles, California
Miami New Times, Miami, Florida
New Times Broward-Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
OC Weekly, Costa Mesa, California
Phoenix New Times, Phoenix, Arizona
Riverfront Times, St. Louis, Missouri
Seattle Weekly, Seattle, Washington
SF Weekly, San Francisco, California
Westword, Denver, Colorado

Read entire press release here

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Stopping Online Child Sexual Exploitation in Backpage.com

  1. A victory! Thank you to all who have persevered to bring Washington State to the forefront of national efforts to stop this awful commercial sex trade industry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s