Letters to the Editor

Working to safeguard children

November is Child Safety and Protection Month, a reminder of the importance of preserving the safety of our children and communities.

Together with nationwide experts, law enforcement officers, community leaders and parents, Stop Child Predators works to drive policy changes in Florida and across the country to combat the sexual exploitation of children.

Through these collaborative efforts, we have made significant strides, from championing the passage of Jessica’s Law in 46 states, to reforming the Sex Offender Registry and helping protect children from online predators.

New leaders will soon take office in Florida’s capitol and communities across the state, and we hope they make child safety a priority, particularly the protection of safeguards for children and communities amidst the increasing growth of short-term rentals.

The introduction of disruptive technologies like Airbnb allow individuals to rent apartments and homes, but also introduces unintended consequences that pose dangers to children. Short-term rentals have evolved into essentially hotels in residential communities.

With no real regulations placed on them, home sharing sites have made tools, like sex offender lists, obsolete by replacing neighbors with a revolving door of strangers. Common-sense regulations on home sharing sites are needed.

The state of Florida has shown ongoing leadership on child safety issues, from enacting legislation that would serve as the model for Jessica’s Law to the ending the statute of limitations for civil and criminal prosecutions for sexually abusing children.

We look forward to continuing to work with lawmakers, local communities and parents in Florida to enact policy that protects the safety of this state’s neighborhoods and children.

Stacie Rumenap,

president,

Stop Child Predators,

Washington, D.C.

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