Ride to fight child predators - Catholic Courier

Ride to fight child predators

Two parents of child abduction and abuse victims will start in Rochester on a cross-country ride to advocate for laws that protect children and fight predatory crimes nationwide.

The kickoff to the "Ride for their Lives" by Ed Smart and Ahmad Rivazfar will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 20, at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield’s headquarters, 155 Court St., Rochester, and the event will include entertainment, child-identification kits, kids’ activities, fireworks and more.

Rivazfar, the founder of "Ride for their Lives," is a Rochester native and father of six children. In 1988, two of his daughters, ages 8 and 6, were abducted, raped and left to die in the woods. Eight-year-old Sayeh survived; 6-year-old Sara did not. Smart is a nationally known spokesman for children’s protection; in 2002, his 14-year-old daughter Elizabeth was kidnapped and found alive nine months later.

The pair will be joined on their 3,500-mile monthlong journey across the country by other parents of children who have survived predators. They are aiming to lobby states to collect DNA upon felony arrests; get more resources dedicated to child-exploitation cases; set minimum standards for a national sex-offender registration and notification system; and educate and empower children to help them recognize, avoid, resist and escape dangerous situations.

Information on their efforts is at www.ridefortheirlives.com.

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