Press Releases

Feinstein-Kirk Amendment to Stop Online Sex Trafficking Passes Senate

Bipartisan SAVE Act Passed 97-2 and Would Make it Unlawful to Knowingly Advertise Sex with a Minor

Washington—U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today applauded the passage of their amendment, the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) Act, which aggressively combats Internet sex trafficking and the selling of children under the age of 18 for sex. It is being included in the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA).

The SAVE Act makes it it a crime for a person, such as the owner of a website, to knowingly advertise a commercial sex act with a minor. Websites like Backpage.com provide a platform for this type of sex trafficking advertising, earning more than $30 million a year from their illicit ads, and ultimately contribute to the selling and exploitation of minors.

“Three out of four underage sex trafficking victims are sold over the Internet. We can’t stop the exploitation of these young victims, many as young as 12, 13 and 14 years old, without stopping the Internet purveyors,” said Senator Feinstein. “Owners of websites like Backpage.com are profiting off the sexual exploitation of children, plain and simple. They would be less likely to turn a blind eye to these insidious ads if they could be prosecuted for them.”

"Freedom on the Internet does not apply to criminals who enslave and sell young girls for sex," Senator Kirk said. "Those who knowingly advertise minors for sex deserve to be behind bars – not free to continue to profit from the sale of our children. This commonsense legislation protects the most vulnerable members of our society."

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