You can help pass H.R. 5575, the "Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and Victims Support Act" by calling your member of Congress and urging him/her to support this critical legislation. Here's how:
1. Find your member of Congress by going to http://www.house.gov/ and entering your complete zip code in the top left “Find Your Representative” section.
2. Call the House switchboard TODAY to support the bill at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected with your representative's office. Once connected, tell them you'd like to urge the Congressperson to support H.R. 5575. Here's an example of what you can say:
"Hi, my name is________ , and I am a constituent living in [town/city]. I'm calling to urge Congress(woman/man)______ to co-sponsor and support H.R.5575, a bi-partisan bill that seeks to combat and address the sex trafficking of children in America. I am very concerned about this issue because children are being trafficked across the U.S. by the thousands each day and there are only a handful of beds and shelters in the country to serve their many needs as survivors of such a heinous crime. It's time for Congress to act. Will the Congress(woman/man) co-sponsor and support this important legislation?"
3. Once you complete your call, sign our petition to be counted and help us track our impact!
Right now in the U.S., there are only a handful of shelter beds for the thousands of children who are being rescued from trafficking each year. As a result, sex trafficked children have nowhere to turn for safety and therapeutic services. Due to a lack of resources for law enforcement, these young victims are arrested as juvenile offenders while their traffickers and predators remain free, allowing them to further victimize our children.
H.R. 5575 would right these wrongs in 2 ways:
1. Provide Funding for Survivor Services and Law Enforcement
2. Improve the National Crime Information Center (to help federal, state and local law enforcement better track at risk youth)
We Can Do This But Time is Running Out!
We have come too far to stop now. The Senate bill (S.2925) awaits a vote in the Senate and the House bill picked up steam after the Sept 15th House Judiciary hearing on domestic minor sex trafficking. Now, with time running out for the current 111th Congress, we must make our voices heard and build support for HR 5575 to pass in the House before the session ends.
Call your representative at (202) 224-3121 NOW and sign the petition to be counted!
National Coalition to End Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (partial list): A Future. Not A Past., ECPAT-USA, Polaris Project, Rebecca Project, Shared Hope International and Women's Funding Network
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/edenpictures/