October 29, 2019 — For the past several legislative sessions, WCASA and other organizations have supported legislation which would recognize sex-trafficked children as victims by removing the ability to prosecute a child for prostitution (also known as “Safe Harbor” legislation). The legislation was introduced again (AB 41/SB 49) with bi-partisan support during the current legislative session. The legislation has passed in both the Senate and Assembly committees, and we now need the bills to be voted on in both houses of the Legislature.
Legislators in the Assembly need to hear from their constituents that Wisconsin needs to start treating sex-trafficked children as victims of sexual exploitation – not as criminals.
Please call your state representative today. You can identify who represents you here. See below for suggested talking points.
Suggested Talking Points:
- Today I ask Representative_ to vote in caucus to take up AB 41 on the floor for a vote.
- Child Sex Trafficking is a Significant Problem 1 in 7 endangered runaway children are likely sex trafficking victims
- The average age of entry into prostitution is between 12 and 14
- The Safe Harbor Bill recognizes sex-trafficked children as victims by removing the ability to charge a child with prostitution. Most of these victims have a prior history of abuse long before traffickers and johns abuse them.
- We should not arrest and charge child sex trafficking victims when they are too young to consent to sex.
- The Safe Harbor legislation is a key component to dismantling racial disparities in the juvenile justice system.
- Arresting and charging child victims of sex trafficking for prostitution is one of main entry points to the juvenile justice system, also known as the sexual abuse to prison pipeline. Girls of color experience a higher burden of sexual violence and are more likely to be incarcerated for their response to trauma. The Safe Harbor Legislation will help bring state law in line with the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act
- I would like a call back to hear how the representative acts on this bill.