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  • Good news in the fight against sex trafficking

    In February 2017, I wrote an article about the documentary “I am Jane Doe,” which shared the journey of formerly trafficked young women and their families fighting to hold the internet companies who had facilitated their prostitution accountable. The article ended with a quote from a victim’s mother who believed that different internet companies would continue to profit from sex trafficking until Congress acted.


    In January of this year, I interviewed law professor Mary Graw Leary who testified in front of Congress about the need to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. “We have a 1996 law being used to address a 21st century problem,” she said. “It was passed before we knew what the internet would be, and what sex trafficking would be, and before we knew what a harmful combination they would be together.”


    Fortunately, bills amending that law have now passed the House and Senate, and are awaiting the signature of the president to become law. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation tweeted in celebration, “Survivors: heard. Buyers: stopped. Traffickers: thwarted. History: changed.” 


    “No one thought that we could get this done,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), “but with the commitment of an overwhelming group of bipartisan colleagues and a broad-based coalition of support, we were able to pass legislation that will ensure justice for trafficking victims and help us combat this evil crime.”


    After writing these two articles, it was very rewarding to see a just resolution for these victims of sex trafficking. Thanks to all the readers who contacted their elected officials — it made a difference. 


    © Arlington Catholic Herald 2021

    @Zoey Maraist