here’s your chance

August 13, 2010 at 11:56 pm Leave a comment

About a month ago, I wrote the post “I challenge you to do something about it“, in which I, well, challenged you.  To get involved in a cause you care about and to stop thinking that the little things you can do are worthless.

And now I’m excited to suggest one of those little things. 

But I’ll start with the back story.  Last semester, I took a speech class, and we gave three speeches centered around a public issue that we were concerned about.  The first was an informational speech, the second had to propose a government/public/administrative policy to help the problem, and the third was a motivational speech.  I chose to research and speak on the subject of child sex trafficking in America, and frankly, what I found was awful. 

Yes, the statistics are awful.  It happens a lot. 

But what is maybe worse is that our care for the victims is non-existent.  There are no safe places for victims of child prostitution to go to if they are actually rescued….and what is even worse is that, too often, they actually get sent to jail.  The men who perpetrate the crime usually get off free, because they’re hard to find.  But if money was involved – even if the girls didn’t see one cent of it – they are often charged with prostitution and imprisoned. 

It’s horrific. 

A few months ago, New York enacted a groundbreaking law called the Safe Harbor Act, which would protect minors, treating them instead as the victims and children they are.  There would be safe houses, to keep them safe; counseling and therapy and education to teach them another trade.  And, since the cost of imprisoning one person is around $125,000 a year, it would be significantly cheaper. 

So my policy was that my state needed to jump on this and enact something similar right away.  NY, Connecticut, and Washington are the only states that actually have some kind of protection policy.  We have 47 states to go.

And apparently other people have my idea.  As the Wall Street Journal reports:

“On Friday morning at the Morgans Hotel, Susan Sarandon launched a worldwide petition—in partnership with the Body Shop, nonprofit ECPAT USA and the Cambodia-based Somaly Mam Foundation—to lobby state governments for “Safe Harbor” laws. These protect victims of sex trafficking from being arrested and prosecuted for prostitution.”

Here is something small we can do.  Will you take a few minutes to write your name and fight this injustice with me?  Click here to sign the petition!

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Entry filed under: slavery.

and the world keeps spinning welcome home, come in!

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