Stop sex slavery in America

By Terry Swendsen
For the News-Register

Trapped by sex traffickers, children are being held against their will and repeatedly raped. What must we do to rid the nation of this horrific crime against children?

Most gaps in responding to domestic minor sex trafficking occur at the state level, which is where the issue must be addressed. The Protected Innocence Challenge, designed by Shared Hope International under its mission to rescue and restore women and children in crisis, was launched to change laws and policies.

The program began with basic policy principles required to create a safe environment for children. PIC officials believe that preventing domestic minor sex trafficking can be achieved by reducing demand, rescuing and restoring victims through improved training on identification, establishing protocols and facilities for victim placement, mandating appropriate services and shelter, and incorporating trauma-reducing mechanisms into the justice system.

Shared Hope seeks to provide states with increased accountability and a clear guide for legislative improvements. In that effort, Shared Hope grades each state’s regulations against 40 concepts in six key categories of law needed to combat domestic minor sex trafficking:

1. Criminalization of domestic minor sex trafficking. 2. Criminal provision for traffickers (agents, pimps). 3. Criminal provisions for demand (buyers). 4. Criminal provisions for facilitators (hotels, transports). 5. Protective provisions for child victims. 6. Criminal justice tools for investigation and prosecutions.

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