U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is pushing for a vote in the Senate on a bill that will combat sex trafficking. The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, or SESTA, would allow prosecutors and victims to hold websites liable for knowingly facilitating sex trafficking.
Theresa Leonard Rozyn is a sex trafficking survivor and the co-founder of The Underground, a non-profit that helps trafficked victims re-enter society. She says that websites like Backpage willfully ignore code words and emojis in their ads that signal sex trafficking. She says the bill will hold those websites liable.
“We start here, we hold them accountable, we bring legal action to stop them from profiting, and we give the survivor a voice.”
Blumenthal says the bipartisan bill will help women and young adults break free from exploitation.
“What Theresa and other victims of sex trafficking endure is modern-day slavery. It is modern-day slavery and we need to break the shackles.”
The bill passed the House 388 to 25. Blumenthal hopes that the bill will be voted on in the Senate before Easter recess.