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Does Your State have Safe-Harbor Laws for Victims of Trafficking?

October 15, 2013

Most of us live a charmed and sheltered life. TV shows and shoes and sports scores dominate our existence. Some of us have interests or hobbies to add variety to our days. But what about the others, those not living a charmed and sheltered life? Who are they? Where are they? What are the chances for their survival? And, what are we doing to help them survive?

Do we know anyone who exists this way? Or worse, know someone who is part of the problem of why these sad souls exist this way?

chainsAs we expand our acquaintances, contacts and friends, we come in contact with those who “got out”, or who know people who are still trapped inside their own personal hell that is not of their own making. But we also learn about those who are desperately trying to help them. How can we help? What can we do? We’re just a single voice. But it is that single voice that can get attention. Contact local politicians to create laws to help these victims. Give financial support to groups who help them to rehabilitate to the outside world.

What kind of victims do we mean here? Child sex trafficking victims are one group. There are a million reasons why a child gets out on the streets in the first place, but then evil people find them and exploit them and trap them into an ugly existence. Then to make matters worse, when a police raid does come their way, the child is arrested for a crime she (or he) did under duress, as this article explains. The article also tells us that only seven states have safe-harbor laws, seven! Why do we continue to punish these victims?

So contact your state senator or representative and demand safe-harbor laws for your state.

Contact active safe-harbor groups and organizations to see how you can help, such as: Fair Girls and Polaris Project (not sure if these are nationwide).

Other victims of human trafficking are people in domestic servitude and those forced to work for little or no pay.

Google your state name and ‘human trafficking’. You’ll find a lot of information.

We need to be aware that this problem exists today, and we need to help to stop it.

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery. It is the second largest criminal industry in the world.

Around the country, and right here in Michigan, men, women and children are forced into prostitution, domestic servitude and other labor for little or no pay. Yet, this problem has gone unnoticed because traffickers use force, fraud and coercion to hide their victims in the shadows.  — Michigan Human Trafficking Brochure

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