Murphy: Child Abuse, Child Pornography on the Rise in New Jersey During Pandemic

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TRENTON, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey today acknowledged for the first time publicly today that there is a rise in the number of reported child abuse and child sexual exploitation in New Jersey and other states.

When asked if he would join other states to put more funding into local and state police efforts to track down and bring to justice child sex offenders lurking online during the pandemic, Murphy said yes.

“The answer conceptually has to be yes,” Murphy said. “The incidents of child abuse online, there’s no question has gone up, continues to go up and if we can figure out a smart way to coordinate an approach that with fellow states, you betch’ya.”

Federal agencies such as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency, FBI and U.S. Marshals Service have been cracking down on child pornography over the past six months.  The U.S. Marshal’s service has aggressively pursued child and adult sex trafficking that is also rampant nationwide.  Federal and state officials have also been aggressively pursing the rampant growth of online sharing and downloading of child pornography since the start of the pandemic.

In October, Shore News Network partnered in the fight against child sexual abuse with the FBI, ICE, and U.S. Marshals Service in providing those agencies with coverage of their investigations nationwide.

New Jersey’s State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force issues the following warnings for children online:

  1. Do not give out personal information such as my address, telephone number, parents’ work address/telephone number, or the name and location of my school without my parents’ permission.
  2. Do tell my parents right away if I come across any information that makes me feel uncomfortable.
  3. Do never agree to get together with someone that I “meet” online without first checking with my parents. If my parents agree to the meeting, I will be sure that it is in a public place and bring my mother or father along.
  4. Never send a person my picture or anything else without first checking with my parents.
  5. Do not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make me feel uncomfortable. It is not my fault if I get a message like that. If I do, I will tell my parents right away so that they can contact the online service.
  6. Do talk with my parents so that we can set up rules for going online. We will decide upon the time of day that I can be online, the length of time I can be online, and appropriate areas for me to visit. I will not access other areas or break these rules without their permission.
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