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The trial spanned over a six-year period and brought justice for six girls who were trafficked on the same street of bars. The trafficker received a life sentence in jail and is required to make compensatory measures to the victims affected. The courtroom was filled with anticipation, and tears of joy and relief were shed over the guilty verdict.
What does this mean for the larger anti-slavery community? It means that our hard work is paying off and victims are being rescued on a more consistent basis. It means that we are seeing the fruit of our labor and are changing people’s lives. It also means that traffickers will get the signal that their crimes will not go unpunished and they cannot continue to act with impunity.
The fight is not only overseas however. Sex trafficking also occurs in the United States every day. Here are some places you may see sex trafficking domestically:
• massage parlors
• Internet ads
• residential brothels
• street prostitution
• hostess & strip clubs
• escort services
• truck stops
One useful way that you can join us in the fight is by saving the number of your national hotline in your cell phone: in the U.S. it’s 1-888-3737-888. Specialists are always on call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. All reports are confidential and can be taken from anywhere in the States to report potential trafficking victims, suspicious behaviors, and/or locations where trafficking is suspected to occur. Translators are available!
Wherever you are, from Washington D.C. to Manila in the Philippines, stay alert and celebrate that we are gaining momentum in convicting traffickers worldwide! ~Michelle Cho