Sen. Blumenthal to host sex trafficking survivor at State of the Union

This Feb. 27, 2013 file photo shows Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — East Hampton resident Theresa Leonard will be Senator Richard Blumenthal‘s guest for the State of the Union address.

Senator Blumenthal announced Friday morning that Theresa Leonard, co-founder of the Underground and survivor of child sex-trafficking, will be his guest at President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Jan. 30.

“Theresa Leonard is a courageous survivor of horrific sex trafficking and a beacon of hope for justice. My colleagues who hear her story should vote to pass bipartisan legislation to stop websites from facilitating sex trafficking.

With 67 cosponsors, this legislation should pass soon in this session so that others will be spared the kind of suffering that Theresa has endured,” said Blumenthal. “She has shed the shadows and her courage will help stop internet sites from shirking responsibility and enabling these pernicious crimes,”

Along with attending the State of the Union address, Leonard will attend a Senate dinner where she will have an opportunity share her story directly with Senators.

“I am humbled and honored to be Senator Blumenthal’s guest for the State of the Union. It’s a privilege to have elected officials who not only advocate on behalf of survivors of trafficking, but who also listen to our stories and allow our voices to be heard. I hope that the other lawmakers in our nation will stand up for trafficking survivors and allow them to seek justice against websites that facilitate their victimization,” said Leonard.

According to the announcement, the Senate is poised to pass a bipartisan legislation called Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, which was introduced by Senator Blumenthal and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH). The legislation is to ensure that websites that are facilitating sex trafficking will be held liable and victims can get justice.



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