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April 10, 2006 -
Chief Investigator Paul Hamilton awarded Certificate of Achievement by NCMEC for "dedication to the welfare of children."

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"The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

        Welcome to the official website of the Child Abuse Unit. There is a sincere hope that you will find the many resources available here as a helpful tool to both educate and inspire you. It is with a certain dismay that child protective issues seem to have disappeared from the public concerns of a majority of the population.

Children do not ask to be born nor are they given the choice into what environment they enter. From their very first breath, they depend on us - the adults – for just the most basic of essentials to simply live. With the many ills that the world offers – war, famine, sickness, and crime – we forget that we are the ones who created these dangers. It is becoming increasingly apparent that putting food on the table, a roof over their head and clothes on their back are not the only necessities that children need to sustain them – they need our love and active protection as well.

As both technology and society advance – the perils that children face become increasingly numerous. It is our duty to guide and protect them as they grow. Here at the Child Abuse Unit we have dedicated our resolve in an effort to help safeguard children from those who would prey on them. Please take your time visiting our site and, when you have finished, we hope that you will have a deeper understanding of the many issues that endanger our children – both on and off the Internet.

* Signs that your child may be "At-Risk" online

* What to do if you suspect that your child is communicating with a suspicious person

* Tips on how you can protect your child on the Internet

Their lives are in our hands….

Thank you for caring.

Paul Hamilton
Lead Investigator - CAU

The advantages in interactive telecommunications that society has witnessed in just the last decade have served to change the way people communicate and interact all over the world. No one can doubt that the Internet is a technological revolution of enormous proportion, with outstanding possibilities for human advancement.

The global Internet offers exciting new opportunities for children and families to research their homework online, communicate with international pen pals, and build personal web sites to share creativity with others. With these opportunities comes the challenge of keeping our children safe within this ever-expanding network.

Risks range from sites filled with misinformation to sites which expose users to illegal pornography. The most prevalent problem, however, is the unlimited exposure children face from pedophiles that use the Internet to target them inside the security of their homes, schools and libraries.

Most children demonstrate computer proficiency that far surpasses that of their parents, and many parents know only what their children have taught them about the Internet. In fact, one could go so far as to say that the Internet is as accessible to many children as it is inaccessible to adults, wholly independent of their parents.

The Internet is not a passing fad and will continue to grow because those who go online are finding it incredibly useful. It is important, however, for this growth to take place safely. But, this won’t happen unless the Internet industry and the law enforcement community can demonstrate to those families that their children can venture into cyberspace safely.

The information superhighway can be an important tool for learning, but it is rapidly becoming the favorite venue for child predators to reach and abuse children. The common gathering places and the resultant support child predators are providing each other is probably their most significant advantage and the most troublesome for a concerned public. The ability to receive and offer comfort within the support of their like-minded group reinforces pedophiles with the belief that their attraction and adult-child sex are an acceptable way of life.

As experience, research, and learning advance, it becomes increasingly clear that the entire criminal justice system MUST become an integral part of identifying the problems, protecting potential victims, and remedying the situation. Each entity must bear their share of responsibility and act with due diligence. With this community stewardship, the Internet will not only be a rewarding place for children but a safe place as well.

© 2003 Child Abuse Unit
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