NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– It’s a problem that isn’t talked about very much but goes on right here in Connecticut. It’s sex trafficking and Monday one local lawmaker is calling for more to be done to stop it.
“It is a tragedy of slavery and of human trafficking and it unfolds right here on our streets,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, (D) 3rd District.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro is talking about sex trafficking and how it’s not something that only happens somewhere else.
“And people have definitely had the impression that it happens overseas, that it’s an overseas problem, but it happens right in our own backyard,” said Dr. Stephanie Goins, Love 146 Exec. Programs Director.
Last summer, a nationwide federal sweep rescued 105 children and they were children sold into forced prostitution. Five of them were right here in Connecticut. That’s why they are fighting against human trafficking at the downtown New Haven offices of Love146, a group named after the number given to a girl at a sex slave auction witnessed by the founders.
In Connecticut, the laws are changing for the better.
There are some states in which the victims of sex trafficking can actually be charged with prostitution. Not here in Connecticut. It’s one of the ways in which this state is leading the way when it comes to anti-sex trafficking legislation.
But what about other states?
Congresswoman DeLauro is co-sponsor of a bill that would toughen federal laws on human trafficking.
“It creates a fund for domestic victims financed entirely through increased fines on persons convicted of trafficking,” said DeLauro.
Trafficking that goes on, right here in Connecticut.
“We hear about it from children. We see it. We work with children who have been exploited and trafficked. We know it exists,” said Goins.
If all of that isn’t shocking enough, the Congresswoman says the average age at which girls become victims is just 12-years-old. Think about that and think about a 12-year-old daughter, neice or neighbor you might know.