Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus Applauds the Efforts of Those Involved in an Act Relative to Safe Harbor for Exploited Children

The Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus (MWPC) applauds the efforts of all those involved in today's unanimous passage of the Act Relative to Safe Harbor for Exploited Children in the House of Representatives. In particular, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Representative Martin Walsh, Representative Liz Malia, and District Attorney Dan Conley for filing this bill; Attorney General Martha Coakley for her unwavering and outspoken support; all of the bill's co-sponsors; and Speaker Robert DeLeo and the House for voting in favor.

In cases of human trafficking, young girls and women are often held against their will and forced into prostitution and, as a result, often develop drug habits and other self-destructive behaviors, end up in violent and abusive situations, and suffer psychological damage. Massachusetts is currently one of just four states that does not have any anti-human-trafficking legislation on the books. As a result, victims of this crime have been treated as criminals rather than victims. Once such legislation is passed, the Attorney General will be able to prosecute trafficking crimes and the victims can receive the just treatment, rehabilitation, and rights they deserve. This bill has been a very long time in the making and MWPC praises the Massachusetts House of Representatives for taking this first step towards justice for these exploited young women.