COLUMBUS—State Senator Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) today spoke to survivors and those on the front lines of fighting human trafficking during Ohio’s annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day at the Ohio Statehouse. The event brings together advocates from around the state to focus on efforts to end human trafficking.
“Although we have accomplished a great deal, we cannot let up on fighting human trafficking from all sides of the issue,” said Kunze. “We will continue to make it a priority to toughen penalties on traffickers, provide support and resources to survivors and raise public awareness.”
The most common point at which young people fall victim to human trafficking is roughly age 13, with 1,000 children facing this harsh reality each year. Predators profit by targeting victims, from all walks of life, and exploiting them for labor or commercial sex.
The Ohio Senate has passed a series of bills over the last several years aimed at combating the problem through better enforcement, increased support for survivors, and promoting greater public awareness to empower Ohioans to recognize crucial warning signs and report suspected cases. As part of these efforts, Senator Kunze and Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) sponsored legislation, recently signed by the Governor, to increase criminal penalties for individuals who are convicted of promoting prostitution in Ohio.
This law prohibits any person from knowingly taking part in the creation or operation of any enterprise that facilitates engagement in sexual activity for hire, such as a brothel. “We will continue to fight this cruel industry throughout Ohio, helping victims get their lives back and ensuring those who commit these heinous crimes receive the criminal punishment they deserve,” Kunze added.
To learn more about Ohio’s Human Trafficking Task Force, click here.