Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced legislation in 2017 to amend an antiquated 1996 law that was ostensibly enacted to protect freedom of expression on the Internet, but, as Sen. Portman’s bill describes, allowed website operators (most prominently, Backpage ) to facilitate the sale of sex with victims of sex trafficking. In many of these cases, the victims are children.
The frequency of child sex abuse is a true epidemic. Since at least 2000, the U.S. Department of Justice has reported that some 67 percent of all sexual assaults are committed against victims under 18 years old.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports confirmed child sexual abuse cases number approximately 58,000 per year in recent years.