This is the second consecutive week that I’ve blogged about human trafficking and the largely unseen impact it has had on our society. This is also the second week that I have taken a few days to digest what I was a part of on Friday because rushing to put my thoughts down about such an intense and often gut-wrenching subject wouldn’t be prudent.

I wanted my words to me measured and careful without removing the emotion that builds inside me each time this subject is broached. This disgusting, deplorable practice of buying and selling underage girls and boys, forcing them into lives of violence and shame must come to an end.

The Junior Leagues of Westchester County hosted a legislative breakfast at Greenburgh Town Hall on Friday and for two hours I joined a panel of women who are dedicated to putting an end to sex slavery and human trafficking while helping the victims of these horrible crimes. One of the main topics of the discussion was the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act (TVPJA), a bill that I have sponsored in the State Assembly.

The TVPJA will significantly strengthen New York State’s response to human trafficking, especially of minors, and would make us a national leader in combating trafficking and protecting victims. There are other bills that have been introduced but this is the bill that must be passed. Urge your Assemblyperson or State Senator to endorse this legislation because it is the most comprehensive bill to date. It deals harshly with traffickers while offering more help to the victims.

This is a complex problem that needs our attention immediately. This is not an issue relegated to the shadows of Manhattan or big cities in other states. This problem is in our Westchester communities. We need to put an end to it now. Human trafficking is a $32 billion a year underground industry and it is thriving in New York.

Help me put an end to it. Help me give these people back their lives while punishing the monsters who have tried to take it from them. If you had listened to the stories and spoken to the victims whose lives were destroyed because of trafficking you’d understand why I am so invested in this. My heart breaks for these young men and women that are raped and beaten repeatedly, in many cases several times a day.

notforsaleThese are children. They can’t protect themselves so please, help us protect them. Remember, People Are Not For Sale. Give these children back their dignity, their humanity, their lives. Help me fight the good fight.

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