Hello again. I am so sorry I haven’t been blogging recently. I had some technical difficulties this past week or so. However, now I am back at it talking about some real world issues!
Previously we discussed the issue of human trafficking in the US and the implementation of new laws to reduce this occurring crime. Now I want to discuss the overall improvements in different states and how that has helped out entire nation. We talk a lot about the issue and its global impact, and specifically its impact at home in Charlotte NC, however; it’s important to also talk about how states are fighting this, because we are in fact fighting this! That’s pretty awesome.
The main reference for this post will be an article in Huffington Post called “US States are Getting Better at Combating Child Sex Trafficking. I am attaching the link below as always, but this will be the main source of examples and information.
A great accomplishment that starts out this article is one that I believe we need to take time to actually applaud ourselves and our country. It isn’t often that we take the time to do this, but in this case we should. In 2011 26 out of 50 states received failing grades on the country’s first assessment of the nation’s response to its youngest victims. Thus so far this year, no states have received a failing grade and at least half the nation has received a B or greater. That’s awesome!
Now what states are doing the most to end child sex trafficking? There are 10 major ones and those will be what I discuss today. Those states are (in least to greatest in action) Florida, Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, Montana, Washington, Tennessee, and Louisiana. Of all of these I am going to talk about a few of them and their efforts in law and community action.
Iowa and Texas are very similar in execution, however have a different effectiveness rate. Iowa has a rating of an 87.5 of 100. Their idea is that many buyers whom buy sex from children/minors remain faceless and nameless, and generally aren’t arrested. This is very common for a lot of offenders in many different areas of the US and the world. Iowa now is working to combat this by labeling anyone who seeks or solicits sex/sexual acts from minors as a class “C” felony. The punishments for this is a prison sentence up to 10 years and fines up to $10,000. Similarly, Texas, with a rating of 90.5, cracks down on child prostitution by classifying the crime as a second degree felony. If someone elicits sex from a child under 18, regardless of being aware of their age, there is a sentence from 5-99 years in prison and fines up to $100,000.
Montana is one of the highest as well with Texas, reaching a rating of 90.5. A remarkable thing about Montana is that they brought their rating up from a “D” to an “A” in a year! They also did this by increasing their punishment. “Montana doesn’t allow offenders to claim they believed the child was an adult as a defense.” In addition, the punishment is 100 years in prison, fines up to $50,000, and a sexual offender treatment program must be completed.
Although it is sad that these laws have to become stricter in order to reduce child sex trafficking, it is important to recognize our growth and progress. So I encourage you, as always, to review the source below. It’s not much reading, but it’s important to recognize our accomplishments.