Protected Innocence Initiative – State Report Cards Released

Veronica’s Voice, Inc. is pleased to announce that our partner, Shared Hope International, will be releasing the results of their comprehensive state by state report from their Protected Innocence Initiative Thursday, December 1st, 2002. The Protected Innocence Initiative is a comprehensive strategy to promote zero tolerance for child sex trafficking. The Initiative provides a blueprint for policy makers to establish the foundational policies needed in each state to create a safe environment for children. As a nation we have made some progress through the TVPRA of 2005. However, many states have made little movement to address this problem in their laws.

Because this issue can seem overwhelming and complex, Veronica’s Voice supports the comprehensive look at the current position of local and state legislation and we believe that legislators will welcome the feedback and support of this focused Initiative. Laws must clearly reflect these children as victims and provide funding to assist in their recovery process, rather than allow for further criminalization. The primary policy issues that must be addressed include, eliminating demand, prosecuting those who benefit from the purchase of sex, having a process in place to identify victims and cooperating with agencies in place to provide access to services and adequate shelter for survivors.

In Kansas, Veronica’s Voice serves on the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Advisory Board, which has been in place for a little more than a year. We have already begun to make recommendations to the legislature about the needed changes and we expect a positive response from them as they consider the recommendations. We are confident that there will be significant changes during the next legislative session. Some changes have taken place in Missouri through HB 214.Veronica’s Voice and our coalition partners through KC-CASE, were instrumental in crafting the language and providing testimony to the legislature on this bill. While there is still room for improvement, the impact from the work being done has yet to be measured.

Veronica’s Voice has been providing victim services for more than 11 years. We are honored to be joined by a variety of motivated individuals and organizations who understand the realities of what it will take to end this atrocity in our lifetime. While the focus of this Initiative is on the trafficking of domestic minors, our commitment and resolve is to see the laws change for all victims regardless of their age. Reality dictates that we all recognize that turning 18 does not change a victimized child into a consenting adult. Victims are not limited by age, nationality, or the seeming ability to choose their own destiny. Much like domestic violence, these individuals have experienced trauma and brutalization that change the way they think, creating the need for specialized recovery support.

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Posted on December 1, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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