Last week, Hawaii became the first state in the nation to remove a requirement that a person prove they were a sex trafficking victim to have a prostitution conviction expunged. In addition to removing what Gov. David Ige termed an “unrealistic” requirement of proof, the legislation he signed reduces the precondition time-limit, allowing individuals that avoid additional convictions to motion to vacate their conviction after three years rather than six.
"Encourage one another and build each up… Up up up up up up up!" This childhood song came to mind as I thought about Cambodia and the reasons we ventured across the world to visit the beautiful people there in Phnom Penh. We have spent the last several months planning and praying that we would could be effective catalysts in bringing generous doses of encouragement to our partners and brothers and sisters in Christ on the other side of the globe. Because of each of your prayers and support, we made it there and were able to connect with, give gifts, serve alongside of and pray with leaders from several different organizations as well as our partners, Precious Women.
Not in my town. Not in my neighborhood. Not within my city limits. That’s the thought so many of us have — or have had — about sex trafficking occurring in our neighborhoods, many times right under our noses.
The sad truth is that the sex trade knows no boundaries. Selling people for sex occurs in all neighborhoods, at all hours, by all races, and targets women, men and children of all ages. Studies show, however; that people who work in residential brothels are primarily women, and the average age of a person who is trafficked is between 11 and 14 years old, according to non-governmental U.S. statistics.
The results from Thorn’s report were staggering, finding that of those individuals who were trafficked in 2004 or later, 75 percent reported being advertised online. Of those who began being trafficked before 2004, only 38 percent reported being advertised online. That is a 37 percent increase in the advertisement of children for sexual services in 14 years.