Cape Gazette
http://capegazette.villagesoup.com/p/1065338

Stop the sex trafficking in Delaware

By Annette Silva | Oct 11, 2013

In her book, Girls Like Us - Fighting for a world where girls are not for sale, Rachel Lloyd, executive director of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) in New York City, rephrases an unrepentant pimp explaining why sex trafficking is rampant in the United States:  “There’s more money in it.  You can sell drugs and guns only once without replacing supply; girls can be used over and over five or six times a day.”

Lloyd’s book, though hard to read, should be a source for parents and teens because it’s a true story about the human trafficking of children.  Like trafficking in drugs, massive amounts of money are involved.  Lloyd shares her personal story and walks us through the road to recovery.  Now she helps girls recover and educates the public to prevent the recruitment of human sex slaves.

 

Polaris Project’s statistics for Delaware show that the state’s last annual report on sex trafficking was filed in 2012.  If you go to www.polarisproject.org/state-map/delaware, you will find that Delaware’s rating is Tier Three (next to last) in fighting sex trafficking.  According to Polaris’s Delaware State Ratings 2013, Delaware has a statute that criminalizes sex trafficking that includes force, fraud or coercion to engage in a sexual act. The state also has investigative tools.  Recently, the Attorney General named a Human Trafficking Task Force.

The report from Polaris shows that Delaware does not have training on human trafficking for law enforcement; it does not have Safe Harbor services or a lower burden of proof to prosecute sex trafficking of minors.  It does not have a victim assistance statute or a statute that provides victims of human trafficking with the ability to seek civil damages from their traffickers.

Lloyd said in an April, 2012, New York Times piece that legalizing prostitution has spurred traffickers to recruit children to meet demand.  “To truly address trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, it is critical to address the systemic factors making girls and women so vulnerable - poverty, gender inequity, racism, classism, child sexual abuse and the lack of educational and employment opportunities for women and girls.”

Annette Silva
Seaford

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