I want to take the time to applaud Cuomo announcement of his plans to fix state’ weak sex trafficking laws. This is a good step in the right direction. We must pay more attention to this epidemic as we are to others such as the opioid epidemic. What makes this even more tragic is the target age in which these serial rapists and criminals prey on: 11 to 15 years old. We have over 100,000 US born children lured into sex trafficking. One of the weaker laws facing us today as a state is THE NEED to prove coercion before prosecuting the serial rapist / trafficker of a child. Can you imagine a child being re-victimized just because he or she has to prove coercion? And, we are 1 of only 2 states that requires this. The other 48 states INCLUDING federal do not require this. They do not need to prove coercion when the victim of sex slavery is a minor. We are aggressively asking our state elected official to pass the End Child Sex Trafficking Act (A6823-b) immediately.
I was pleased to see Cuomo’s announcement today and encourage him to act sooner than later. Which brings me to our city, New York.
In 2017, I proposed to the Mayor that we open up an office dedicated to human trafficking (Mayor’s Office to Combat Human Trafficking) just as we have done for domestic violence. It is crucial that we have centralized leadership in this area for New York City. As a result of this ask, we have formed TrafficK-Free NYC–which operates as an office without walls–inclusive of city agencies, service providers, survivors, etc.–to work together to identify our top priorities. All have been focused and are doing work in their own space to effectively address this atrocity. I, personally (as I have proposed), am trusting that an office with proper resources can be realized or at the least a budget approval with more than adequate resources to expand an existing city agency so centralized leadership/coordination can be realized.
Members of TrafficK-Free NYC have collectively determined that we have much to do for our most vulnerable in NYC, yet I know we can’t do it without YOU.
Join me at a press conference/prayer vigil on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 10:30am (National Day of Prayer) in front of the Harlem State Office Building located at W. 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. as we push for this bill to be passed and pray for our children. (FLYER ATTACHED)
You can also help by calling your state elected official and asking them to stand behind the passing of the End Child Sex Trafficking Act today!