Support of S. Bill 1312 - Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017
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Human trafficking has become one of the most prevalent and damaging crimes in our country, with reported cases in every state. However, human trafficking remains a hidden crime and often goes unreported and unrecognized by the public. Bill S. 1312 – Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017 aims to fight against human trafficking and I ask for your support in the passage of the bill.
Bill S. 1312 – Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017 intends to “prioritize the fight against human trafficking in the United States” . The bill suggests multiple ways to assist survivors of human trafficking. It provides desperately needed money for grants (going from 11 million to 45 million), and stresses the importance of raising awareness both with working professionals and the general public. Furthermore, the bill advocates for training programs, injunctive relief, support for trafficked children, services for survivors, improvements to victim screenings, changes to data collection, and victim-centered approaches (S. 1312, 2017). This bill strives to enhance the current efforts, by attempting to meet the diverse and desperate needs of survivors
However, there is still a lack in victim response and services. Survivors are often hesitant to share their stories for a myriad of reasons, including fear of deportment, arrest or violence from their traffickers (Reichert & Sylwestrzak, 2013). The challenges they face, after escaping their traffickers, are complex and unique to each survivor. Challenges may include legal, housing, and counseling services, but vary wildly based upon the survivors’ specific culture and history. In addition, the bill fails to recognize the survivors’ lack of knowledge, legal status, cultural barriers, language barriers, and safety concerns (Reichert & Sylwestrzak, 2013). Finally, Survivors have nowhere to turn, with only thirty-three operational, residential programs in the United States (Reichert & Sylwestrzak, 2013). This lack of services and resources has led to an inability to meet survivor needs.
While some amendments could be made to help ensure cultural competency among service providers as well as the creation of new housing services, simply passing the bill would create opportunity for growth and development.
Help end human trafficking!
Reichert, J. & Sylwestrzak, A. (2013). National survey of residential programs for victims of sex trafficking. Chicago, IL: The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
Grassley, C. (2017, June 07). S.1312 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017. Retrieved June 25, 2017, from https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1312?r=6
http://blog.truemodel.net/human-trafficking-awareness/ (petition image)
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