There are a number of states making important strides against sex trafficking and our state was recently recognized as one of the top seven in the country.
The Protected Innocence Challenge Report ranked Washington, along with Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri and Texas as the top seven states that protect against child trafficking.
The report is the first comprehensive study on state child sex trafficking laws across the country and grades states from ‘A’ to ‘F’. It was released by an organization called Shared Hope International, which is dedicated to ending sex trafficking.
Washington and six other states all received a ‘B’ grade for enacting legislation that strengthens laws against domestic minor sex trafficking.
States are graded based on six categories of law; Washington got a “near perfect” score in the category “Criminal Provisions for Facilitators.”
Alaska was among 9 states to get a “C” grade. Oregon, Utah and 17 other states scored a “D” and California and Idaho were among 18 states to get a failing grade of “F.”
According to Shared Hope International, every year in the United States experts estimate at least 100,000 children are exploited in the U.S. commercial sex industry. The average age a child is first exploited through prostitution is 13 years old.
Shared Hope International says since the challenge was issued last year, 240 state and 38 federal bills were introduced and 78 laws were passed.
Learn more about Shared Hope International and the Protected Innocence Challenge: http://sharedhope.org/what-we-do/bring-justice/state-by-state-grades/