22 Jun Protecting Youth From Abuse Via Technology
What does Child Rescue Coalition do?
Child Rescue Coalition is a Boca Raton-based nonprofit that rescues children around the world from sexual abuse by building technology for law enforcement — free of charge — to track, arrest and prosecute child predators. A partnership of child exploitation investigators, police officers, digital forensic experts, prosecutors, child welfare agencies, and corporate and private philanthropists, the coalition works together to apprehend and convict abusers of children, rescue those in harm’s way, and prevent abuse before it happens.
Child Rescue Coalition’s software – called CPS Technology – is a digital tool that helps law enforcement in all 50 states and in 84 countries around the world track, arrest and convict those who exploit young children. Founded in 2013 by sisters Carly Asher Yoost and Desiree Asher, the nonprofit also facilitates training and education in addition to providing ongoing support to over 10,000 trained investigators and prosecutors.
How does your agency benefit the community?
At Child Rescue Coalition, the mission is to protect all children from sexual exploitation. The organization’s tool, CPS Technology, is the most successful of its kind, proactively detecting and identifying those who prey on children — leading to direct action. Through proactive partnerships with law enforcement, Child Rescue Coalition’s CPS Technology has aided in the arrest of over 10,000 predators while rescuing over 2,300 children from sexual exploitation and abuse. South Florida is home to the greatest number of law enforcement officers utilizing CPS Technology in the world. While the technology has tracked millions of pedophiles around the world, data shows a decline in global activity indicating Child Rescue Coalition’s efforts are working and its presence in the community is known and effective.
What is your agency’s focus for the future?
Child Rescue Coalition has identified 54 million unique IP addresses worldwide known to have possessed some form of obscene material depicting children. There is still much ground to cover in the fight to end childhood sexual abuse and exploitation, as up to 85 percent of people in possession of child pornography are hands-on abusers of children. Child Rescue Coalition continues to provide its cutting-edge technology to law enforcement to combat the issue, and is developing a new forensic tool, called Neula, which will assist investigators with retrieving files that have been deleted from a suspect’s computer.
How can the community help?
The generosity of the community has a tremendous impact on our mission. Stopping child abuse requires greater community awareness of the issue, as well as donations so we can provide free law enforcement utilization and training, educational opportunities for parents, and expand our technological capabilities. Awareness is paramount to continue the fight against child sexual abuse. Parents can also stem the tide of overexposing children on the internet, by not sharing images of their children in private, vulnerable moments such as bathing, potty training, in stages of undress, etc. The nonprofit recently launched a “Kids for Privacy” public awareness campaign that encourages parents to think twice before sharing images on social media, as child predators are present on these platforms and actively search for imagery that they can steal and distribute without the knowledge or consent of parents.