Sanctuary for Families, The New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, YWCA Orange County, The Junior League and Others Join Push For Assembly Member Amy Paulin and Senator Andrew Lanza’s Bill
Coalition Launches First Meeting of Advocacy Campaign Across State to Pass TVPJA Bill
New York – Today, 10 organizations are joining to urge legislators to pass the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act (TVPJA), sponsored by Assembly Member Amy Paulin and Senator Andrew Lanza. The YWCA Orange County is hosting the meeting, organized by Sanctuary for Families and the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, which launches a state-wide effort to raise awareness about the prevalence of human trafficking in New York State and advocate for passage of this urgently needed legislation.
Representatives of the organizations are learning how trafficking is impacting the local community, effective ways to take action and how to develop a strategic plan for the 2013 legislative session.
"Exploiting human beings for sex has to be one of the most heinous crimes in our modern day society," Assembly Member Amy Paulin said. "I am proud to reintroduce this bill, which recognizes that buying children for sex is child abuse. It also increases penalties for the criminals – the traffickers supporting this brutal trade – and gives law enforcement increased tools to put them in jail. By ensuring access to social services, it also helps the victims break the vicious cycle of dependency and humiliation."
"Our bill is a long awaited measure to help protect those people in New York State who are particularly vulnerable," said Senator Andrew Lanza. "We must pass the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act to end the re-victimization of trafficked people by our justice system and hold those who exploit them accountable."
Key provisions of the TVPJA include:
- Ensuring that those who buy sex from children face the same penalties as those who commit statutory rape;
- Eliminating the requirement that prosecutors prove coercion in cases against the sex traffickers of children;
- Enabling sex trafficking victims to defend themselves when charged with prostitution;
- Recognizing that sex trafficking is a violent felony while ensuring that labor traffickers face prison time; and
- Giving prosecutors the investigative tools they need to build strong cases against people who own or manage prostitution businesses or are pimping young people age eighteen or younger.
“This proposed legislation will help ensure that law enforcement holds perpetrators—both buyers and sellers—accountable while protecting trafficking victims from revictimization. It will take New York State’s fight to end human trafficking to the next level,” said Dorchen Leidholdt, Director of the Center for Battered Women's Legal Services at Sanctuary for Families.
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About Sanctuary for Families
Sanctuary for Families is the leading nonprofit agency in New York State dedicated exclusively to serving domestic violence victims, sex trafficking victims, and their children. Each year, we help thousands of victims and their children build safe lives through a range of high quality services.