6/11/2013 -- CNN -- "Victim's plea: Change New York law, charge the traffickers"; New York Office Director Lauren Hersh talks about working with Ruth, a young survivor of sexual exploitation, and the need for stronger laws to protect victims:
Later this month, in a comprehensive attempt to target the traffickers and sex buyers and provide necessary services for victims, the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act (TVPJA) will be put in front of New York legislators.
The TVPJA seeks to eliminate the need to prove a minor sex trafficking victim was coerced into prostitution, align penalties for buying a child for sex with penalties for statutory rape and classify sex trafficking as a violent felony. This bill is urgently needed.
However, legislative justice is only part of the solution. Sexually exploited girls, like Ruth, also need to be given a voice in the advocacy process. [read more...]