Blake Lively is a loving mother of two, but she has millions of other young girls weighing on her heart as well. The actress is combating child pornography, by speaking out against the shockingly common illegal practice. And she's using her powerful voice to great effect.
The new "Power of Women NY" issue of Variety spotlights six women and the causes they care about, including Lively. (The other women are Jessica Chastain, Chelsea Clinton, Gayle King, Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, and vice-chairwoman of CBS and Viacom Shari Redstone.) Lively is proud to be joining forces with the international Child Rescue Coalition to put a stop to child pornography.
"It’s so disturbing. A lot of these people are fathers," Lively pointed out. "If you proactively find these predators, you can save so many children." The mother of 2-year-old James and 7-month-old Ines explained, "There are millions of files all over the world being traded every single day of child pornography." Child Rescue Coalition is fighting that illegal trade with "groundbreaking technology that flags the IP addresses of people who share and download sexually explicit images of minors," according to Variety.
"Our mission is to protect the innocent," CEO of Child Rescue coalition Asher Yoost added. "We try to get [the data] in the hands of law enforcement." The negative effects of the horrible photos extend offline as well. As Yoost explained to Variety, there is research suggesting that as many as 85% of people who consume child pornography also exploit minors offline too, by sexually abusing children. That's why ending the free exchange of it is so important.