Noreen Gosch of West Des Moines will be honored for her work to educate people about child predators and human trafficking.
By Deb Belt
Noreen Gosch, whose son Johnny Gosch disappeared in 1982 while on his West Des Moines paper route, will receive the Family Protection Award during the 11th Preventing Abuse Conference, according to a news release.
The conference is presented by the Preventing Abuse Foundation and will be held Aug. 9 and 10 at the Kirkwood Hotel in Cedar Rapids.
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, the release said. She is a leader within the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and instrumental in advocating for stricter laws.
In September 2012, Patch’s “Iowa’s Missing Kids” project traced Noreen Gosch’s 30-year journey to find her son. Read her story:
- 30 Years After Johnny Gosch Vanished, Iowa’s Innocence Abducted: 2012 in Review
- Innocence Abducted: Noreen Gosch Blinded by Ugly World of Child Sex Trade (Part 2 of a Series)
- Johnny Gosch’s Mom ‘a Pioneer’ in Protecting Children (Part 3 of a Series)
According to the news release, highlights of Noreen Gosch’s nationwide efforts include:
- Advocated for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children before the Justice Department in 1983.
- 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 TV 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.
To register for the conference and for more information, visit www.preventingabuse.org.