Cedar Rapids- Noreen Gosch, whose son Johnny Gosch disappeared in 1982 during his paper route, will be honored with the Family Protection Award during the 11th Preventing Abuse Conference, August 9-10 at the Kirkwood Hotel in Cedar Rapids. The conference is presented by the Preventing Abuse Foundation.
Gosch will be honored on at the Preventing Abuse Conference August 9, 10, 2013 at the Hotel at Kirkwood during the two-day conference, which includes speakers, and information to help attendees become more aware of the prevalence and danger facing children and families.
Since the kidnapping of her son, Gosch has played an instrumental role in helping parents of other victims. Her efforts led to the establishment of the Johnny Gosch Foundation in 1982 and the passing of the Johnny Gosch Bill in 1984 to aid in the investigation and rescue of abducted children. The Johnny Gosch Bill called for mandatory, immediate response to a missing persons report.
Gosch's work has led to increased awareness over the abduction and exploitation of children, and helped identify human trafficking before it was given a name. She works with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and instrumental in advocating for stricter laws. Highlights of her nationwide efforts include:
* Advocated for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children before the Justice Department in 1983.
* Testified before Senator Arlan Spector's Senate Hearing in 1984.
* Established the "In Defense of Children" program and delivered more than 800 speeches to civic organizations, law enforcement agencies, and schools.
* Appeared on more than 50 network programs, including HBO's documentary, Missing.
* Provided information to the FBI in 2007 after discovering Johnny's photo on a Russian website, leading to the arrests of 700 pedophiles in several countries.
Iowa has some of the toughest laws on the books against child pornography and human trafficking, after Governor Terry Branstad signed legislation into law last spring. The law broadens the definition of human trafficking, eliminates the possibility of a perpetrator pleading ignorance of a victim's age, and creates a felony for those who force or recruit a minor to engage in commercial sexual activity.
To register for the conference and for more information, please see www.preventingabuse.orgor call 323-851-3872.
Human trafficking is the second largest illegal money-maker in the world, next to selling illegal drugs.
The Preventing Abuse Foundation was founded by Tony Nassif, who has dedicated his life and finances to educating, motivating and activating individuals, law enforcement, government officials and the faith community on the issues surrounding human trafficking, child abduction and pornography.