Authorities in Pennsylvania and 27 other states are acting with exceptional cruelty in charging young victims of human trafficking with prostitution and sending them to juvenile detention centers. Locking up young victims who can’t be considered consenting participants, even if only for a short time, compounds their trauma. Krista Hoffman, who leads the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape’s anti-trafficking program, says, “I can’t think of any greater injustice than being charged with their own victimization.”
To help such young people in Pennsylvania, State Senator Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery) has sponsored a “safe harbor” bill that would treat them as victims of abuse – which they are – and get them services instead of punishment. Another bill, sponsored by State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R., Montgomery), would toughen and clarify the state’s criminal code to enable more prosecutions of human traffickers. State lawmakers can contribute to the fight against trafficking by giving prosecutors the weapons they need and victims the protection and care they deserve.
Learn more at the Philly.com article: Let’s not prosecute sex trade’s victims.