Wearing Sponge Bob pajama pants and waiting in her driveway for a friend, fifteen-year-old "Debbie" did not seem to be a likely victim of sex trafficking. But when her friend showed up with two older men, it didn't matter that Debbie was from a caring Air Force family in suburban Phoenix.
Sex trafficking is much closer to home than many Americans realize -- each year, at least 100,000 children are victimized through commercial sex and prostitution within the United States. Experts suggest that the primary victims are American run-away kids and, to a growing degree, children like Debbie who are either lured or forced away from stable families.
Congressional bills S. 2925 and H.R. 5575 would grant funds to state and local initiatives that both combat sexual trafficking and support survivors of trafficking like Debbie. Encourage Congress to pass urgently needed legislation against sex trafficking in the United States and to renew their commitment to fighting human slavery across the world.
According to the FBI, more than 100,000 children are victimized through commercial sex and prostitution within the United States per year. I'm writing to encourage you to address this urgent issue by supporting S. 2925 by Senator Ron Wyden (OR) and H.R. 5575 by Representative Carolyn Maloney (NY-14).
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This legislation will authorize grants to areas where sexual trafficking is the worst and where state and local governments are best prepared to confront the problem. It will provide funding to government initiatives that have a comprehensive plan for investigating, prosecuting and deterring sex trafficking. Also, a minimum of 25% of the funds will be used to support victims and survivors of sex trafficking by providing services and shelter.
Sex trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, and it's our responsibility to help the victims and survivors and to stop the traffickers from perpetuating more violence and suffering. Please pass this urgently needed legislation against sex trafficking in the United States and renew your commitment to fighting human slavery across the world.
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