Theresa Flores Ohio has a sex slavery problem. That's according to state lawmakers. On Tuesday, lawmakers in the Ohio House unanimously passed legislation that would increase penalties for those caught forcing young people to have sex with strangers for money.
House Bill now heads to the Senate for approval. It would toughen the penalties for people convicted of human trafficking. Instead of being prosecuted, young victims will receive aid and services to help them heal.
But how widespread is the problem in the Tri-State? Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine has been working with leaders across the state to solve the problem. In , a report was conducted for the Attorney General's office estimating that " Richie works with the Women's Crisis Center in Covington. In , she founded P. The program is a victim-centered partnership of professional and community organizations devoted to the Prevention of human trafficking through education and training; Protecting victims through rescue and holistic services; and ensuring the Prosecution of traffickers through legal advocacy.
In Kentucky, a bill that would have assisted in stopping trafficking in Kentucky died last week in the State Senate. Wright; are in Ft Thomas; are in Villa Hills. You can sell a line of coke once. You can sell a person over and over and over again. A trafficking study reports Ohio is a major player; Toledo is a major supplier. Toledo Police Detective Pete Swartz now spends his days working for the state's only paid task force.
In , Toledo ranked fourth in the country when it came to arrests, investigations, and rescue of sex trafficking victims.
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Victims of human trafficking are young children, teenagers, men and women. Cincinnati police tell us that to date, various CPD personnel have attended a total of seven classes since However, advocates said it's tough to tackle the issue unless you have a targeted approach.
Most of the men arrested had ties to Ohio. Members have cracked down on trafficking by arresting dozens of traffickers and pimps. Last week, prosecutor Jim Maroney said the group claimed another victory by sentencing juvenile sex trafficker Mark Fetter to the maximum allowed -- ten years. Maroney said a prostitute called police after watching several men go in and out of a motel room of a young girl.
Survivor Theresa Flores said nobody called a number for her. She now answers the call for help for countless victims of human trafficking. Flores was raised in an affluent Catholic neighborhood outside of Detroit. At 15 years old, Flores became a sex slave.
Ohio Governor John Kasich said Flores isn't alone. In late March, he decided to do something about it. No money has been set aside for the group. It's a loaded word for some people who still call the young people picked up for prostitution offenders.
State leaders say we must first change the words we use when describing this issue, and then we must change the laws. Just ask State Rep. She sponsored HB The Commission includes elected and appointed officials, members of local, state, and federal law enforcement, public and private social agencies, religious groups, and schools.
It may be the pimp. It may be an organization that has literally grabbed them off the street. All employees must now go through training to recognize the signs of human trafficking.
As truckers come in to get a bite to eat or to relax for a few minutes, they're encouraged to take a wallet card or a brochure from TAT. The phone number of the local police department is also posted outside. Bresnahan said it's working. The older gentleman did not appear to be a friend or relative of theirs.
The girls appeared to be unsure of their surroundings so better safe than sorry. We don't want to talk about pornography. We don't want to talk about our families or husbands buying prostitution at a massage parlor.
We don't want to talk about those things, but because we're not talking about it, it's flourishing. Dozens of workers met with several speakers. The focus was on getting the medical world in this region paying attention to problem of human trafficking. Richie said staff could be the first line of defense and often they could come in contact with victims and not know it. They don't have the best home lives, but we do see some come from the suburbs. Flores said they're your average guys.
Any age," said Flores. Barrows founded Gracehaven in Columbus. In , he was asked by the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons to research the health consequences of human trafficking. Governor Kasich said he's confident that won't be the case. We asked her what she would say to them today. Forgiveness for a war over innocence lost. You can also call the national hotline: