Children who are abused at home or in foster care, who run away from home, or are kidnapped deserve the utmost in compassionate treatment. Instead, they are often forced into the commercial sex trade. At the hands of both skilled traffickers and “customers”, these children find themselves subjected to further violence, manipulation and harm.
Toughening the penalties for purchasing sexual services from a child will decrease the demand for these services, decreasing the demand for traffickers to trawl for vulnerable children. It also sends a message that raping a child is never acceptable. It emphasizes that children are children, and it is the responsibility of adults to protect them.
If passed, A.2240/S.2135 will toughen the penalties on adults who purchase sexual “services” from a child. We believe this bill will help move New York in the right direction when it comes to safeguarding children, the future of our state.