Child pornography is a serious and growing problem in our state, and the Utah Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force is fighting it every day. ABC4 reporter Brittany Johnson got a first-hand look at this problem recently, by riding along with the ICAC Task Force. She went with our officers to the frontline of this battle to capture and share the tragic reality of child pornography – and how ICAC fights against it – on ABC4’s 10 PM newscasts, April 25 and 26, 2019.
Based on the considerable feedback, the Utah Attorney General’s office is posting answers to the most frequently asked questions about the child pornography problem in our state. These questions are pouring into both the AG’s office and to ABC4 via email, social media, and telephone this week. There are thousands of concerned parents and Utah citizens who are troubled by child pornography and who want to protect their children and help fight against the problem. ICAC Commander Jessica Farnsworth answers the questions below.
Are there warning signs? How can we can recognize those who view and/or trade, sell and share child pornography?
What are the various behaviors that act as ‘gateways’, which could lead a person to child pornography?
Are there any signals or warning signs that indicate a child is being sexually abused?
What can we do to protect our kids?
What do parents need to know about posting photos of their children on social media?
What does the average citizen need to know about child pornography?
What is the best way to get involved in stopping child pornography?
In an article published in the Utah Bar Journal, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes, Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill, and Attorney Gregory N. Hoole joined together to bring awareness of child abuse and Wheels of Justice, a local cycling club dedicated to ending all forms of child abuse.
Wheels of Justice, a nonprofit corporation, raises money to support four organizations: Prevent Child Abuse Utah (PCAU), Friends of the Salt Lake County Children’s Justice Center (Friends of the CJC), Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) and the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition (UDVC).
Additionally, Wheels of Justice sponsors a bicycle ride every September that ascends all five of Salt Lake City’s riding canyons in one day. This daunting course shows children who have been abused that they, too, can overcome any challenge.
In the interest of protecting the innocent and bringing criminals
to justice, we do not discuss ongoing investigations.
If you or someone you know has been sexually abused by a clergy member, or anyone else, please report this to the 24/7 Child Abuse Hotline at 855-323-3237 or call your local sheriff or police department. You may also contact our office during business hours at 801-281-1200.
Seeking justice on behalf of physically or sexually abused children and helping those children heal is the mission of the Utah Children’s Justice Centers Program. Protecting children is also a core mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Due to the intersection of vision, the partnership between the two organizations is a natural fit and a big reason why the LDS Church continues to support the CJC Program.
The CJC Program received $50,000 from the LDS Church this year, making it the fourth consecutive year the Church has given to the organization. Each year, the CJCs determine where the gift can have the greatest impact. The contribution this year will go to outlying and rural sites for the following:
To update interview recording equipment, a critical component of the CJC process;
Support renovations in several centers; and
Help establish a victim advocate at the San Juan facility.
For more coverage on the LDS Church grant to Utah CJCs check out the links, below.
The Utah Children’s Justice Program oversees 23 independently-run CJC sites that serve 28 counties throughout the state. Sites are designed with the comfort of the child in mind to provide a safe, friendly atmosphere for forensic interviews, medical examinations, and follow-up support services. For more information please contact the CJC closest to you.