Legal Momentum is in the vanguard, spurring national change to end enterprises that facilitate exploitation of at-risk women and girls. On Thursday, Legal Momentum published an op-ed in the Seattle Times calling for the federal government to take strong action against Backpage.com and other websites that facilitate online exploitation of vulnerable girls and women. The piece, “Congress Must Lead Charge on Backpage.com Sex Ads,” highlights the urgent need to end commercial sexual exploitation of minors and urges the federal government to lead the fight against online commercial exploitation of children.
The same day, New York Times op-ed columnist Nick Kristof also called for an end to tolerance for such sites in a piece titled “Every Parent’s Nightmare,” which points out that the problem of online exploitation of minors receives little attention and is seldom talked about, despite the significant harm it does to the most vulnerable members of society.
It is likely that next week, Congress will vote to hold Backpage.com in civil contempt. We applaud that move, but it should be only the beginning of strong measures against all entities that allow vulnerable children to be bought and sold online. Legal Momentum is working with direct service providers and anti-trafficking groups across the country and launching innovative and effective initiatives to stop online commercial exploitation of children.