Thursday, May 28, 2015

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence Announces Its Recommendations Today in Richmond

At 1:30pm today Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Taskforce on Combating Campus Sexual Violence held its final meeting at the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond where the 21 Recommendations of the Taskforce were presented by Attorney General Mark Herring (they were were posted online ahead of time). Plus a Ceremonial Bill Signing was held for HB1785 and SB712 / HB1930 that passed the 2015 Virginia Legislature back in February to become law on July 1st .

I attended the meeting (sitting right behind Gil and Dan Harrington) to hear what all the speakers had to say and to see if the false 1 in 5 claim was made as it had been at the very first Taskforce meeting, it wasn’t!  During a break I also asked a few Legislators (there were 12 or more in attendance) about the VSP issue I brought to their attention last week.  

As for the 21 recommendations some that will require legislation at the 2016 General Assembly session, they are all reasonable and I do not oppose any of them.  

Fact Checker Gives Four Pinocchio’s to the Widely Repeated and Bogus Claim that "in the U.S., 300,000 Children are at Risk Each Year for Commercial Sexual Exploitation", Claimed by Legislators (and Victim’s Groups) and Then Broadcast as Fact By the Media

It's Political Grandstanding to create Hype and Fear so they public believes there is an extreme danger so they’ll support new and harsher Human /Sexual Trafficking Laws, Mandatory Minimum Sentences, more funding and the requirement to Register as a Sex Offender. 


Fact Checker: The bogus claim that 300,000 U.S. children are ‘at risk’ of sexual exploitation, May 28, 2015
By Glenn Kessler

In the U.S., some 300,000 children are at risk each year for commercial sexual exploitation.” –Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), statement, May 19, 2015 

There are upwards, according to the Justice Department, of 300,000, mostly young girls, at risk for this.” –Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), remarks at a congressional hearing, May 14, 2015  

Beatty and Wagner were two key players in the recent bill targeting sex traffickers that passed both houses of Congress, and they—and many other lawmakers—repeatedly cited the statistic that “300,000” children were “at risk” of being sexually exploited. Often, the source of the statistic was claimed to be the Justice Department, an attribution that The New York Times also used in its report on passage of the bill. 

But it turns out that this is another one of those nonsense statistics, based on data so old that the original researcher even says it is no longer relevant. It also does not have the imprimatur of the Justice Department. 

In recent months, The Fact Checker has exposed a series of dubious factoids, each of which are endlessly repeated by politicians and, even more irresponsibly, by the media. Human trafficking is an important issue, but the data are especially susceptible to exaggeration. Let’s explore why this statistic is another entry in a growing collection of discredited facts.