(Manchester, NH) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice (DOJ), announced with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that the University of New Hampshire (UNH) will receive $2,012,577 to fund three studies to combat child sex trafficking. Specifically, these studies will focus on improving law enforcement’s response to domestic child sex trafficking, assess the effectiveness of support programs for child survivors of sex trafficking and help law enforcement and policymakers better understand and respond to cyber abuse, such as sextortion, and cyber-stalking.
“Child sex trafficking is an insidious crime that impacts communities throughout the nation, and New Hampshire is no exception. Every effort must be made to help law enforcement bring traffickers to justice and help survivors,” said Senator Shaheen. “This funding will support important studies being conducted at UNH that will bolster law enforcement’s efforts to root out child sex trafficking and ensure child survivors receive the care and services they need to recover. I’m also pleased UNH received funds to study cyber abuse, which is a serious and growing problem among young people. I will continue my efforts to combat human trafficking and all forms of sexual violence and online abuse.”
“These federal grants to the University of New Hampshire will fund research to help law enforcement more effectively combat child sex trafficking and other egregious crimes," Senator Hassan said. "I am glad my bipartisan bill with Senator Cornyn to help protect children from abuse recently passed the Senate, and I will keep working to protect the safety and well-being of children across the country.”
“I am tremendously proud of the groundbreaking work the University of New Hampshire does to better understand how we can prevent and eliminate sexual violence,” said Representative Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. “The Justice Department’s decision to award these grants to UNH is a testament to UNH’s reputation for developing impactful and insightful research. As they use these grants to support timely projects on trafficking and online harassment and abuse, I will continue to advocate for funding these important programs. When educators and researchers are given the opportunity to partner with policymakers and law enforcement, we can take important steps together to strategically address sexual violence.”
“I am pleased the University of New Hampshire has received this federal funding to help combat child sex trafficking, support survivors, and counter online abuse. We all must do our part to protect children from exploitation and abuse, and this grant allows UNH to continue playing an important role in stopping the trafficking of children,” said Representative Pappas.
Yesterday, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation, the Jenna Quinn Law, that was introduced by Senators Hassan and John Cornyn (R-TX) that would allow current grant funds to be used to train and educate students, teachers, caregivers, and other adults who work with children in a professional or volunteer capacity on how to prevent, recognize, and report child sexual abuse.