Deadline Approaching to Sign Petitions for California Bills Making Purchasing Children for Sex a Felony, Regulating Porn Sites

By Aliya Kuykendall Published on April 15, 2024

Time is running out to sign petitions for two bills concerning child sex trafficking and pornography usage in California. One petition is only for California residents; the other is available to citizens nationwide.

Currently, purchasing sex with a minor in California is only a misdemeanor — the minimum jail time is two days. SB 1414 would make the crime a felony. A petition supporting SB 1414, which can be signed by Californians only, is here

Meanwhile, AB 3080 would protect minors from a different form of sexual abuse — exposure to pornography. The bill would require porn sites to verify users’ ages, as 11 states already have and 25 others are considering doing. A federal appellate court recently upheld a similar law in Texas. The petition supporting SB 3080 and similar laws, which can be signed by anyone, is here.

Petition signatures for both bills will be presented to California legislators tomorrow.

Exodus Cry Vice President of Impact Helen Taylor said, “Passing age-verification legislation to shield children from pornographic websites is one of the single most important actions our state can take to protect millions of children from lifelong sexual trauma.”

The average age of a child being exposed to pornography is 11, but that number keeps dropping. In 2022, Common Sense Media conducted a survey of 1,300 minors regarding their consumption of pornography, revealing that 58% were exposed to it accidentally.

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Republican state Sen. Shannon Grove successfully raised penalties for child sex traffickers last year, making it part of the three-strikes system and thus enabling serious consequences to be levied against serial traffickers. This year, she is focusing on the buyers. “It takes two criminals to commit a crime of sex trafficking,” she said.

 

Aliya Kuykendall is a staff writer and proofreader for The Stream. You can follow Aliya on X @AliyaKuykendall and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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