The biggest advocate against human sex trafficking in Delaware had a very busy year! Yolanda Schlabach, the Greenwood, DE native, made sure key legislation on human sex trafficking in The First State passed in 2017. Continue reading 17 Who Made An Impact In 2017: Yolanda Schlabach
Beneath all the hullaballoo of the Delaware budget, two bills passed quietly in the nights the legislature was attempting to hammer out a budget. Both bills dealt with the subject of human sex trafficking.
House Bill 164, which establishes the Human Trafficking Interagency Coordinating Council, passed the House on 6/27 and the Senate on 6/30. Senate Bill 75, which “updates Delaware’s human trafficking crime to prohibit the same acts that are included in the federal Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015“. This bill will go after the scum bags who put these victims up for prostitution on places like Craigslist, Backpage, and Kik.
When I first wrote about Human Sex Trafficking in Delaware a few months ago, I had just been to a presentation on it in the Red Clay Consolidated School District. It disturbed me greatly how grown adults can take advantage of minors and sell them off to perverts as sex slaves. It became one of my most-read articles so far this year and is still high up on that list. It is a crime that doesn’t get a lot of attention but affects each one of us. It is incumbent upon the citizens of this state to report these types of crimes if they even suspect it. You could be saving a life.
I don’t always give our legislators credit, but with these two bills they did the right thing. Both of these bills go into effect once Delaware Governor John Carney signs them. If only education were so easy…
Sometimes, it is all in the wording. House Bill 164, sponsored by State Representatives Helene Keeley and Tim Dukes along with State Senators Margaret Rose Henry and Gerald Hocker, would create the Human Trafficking Interagency Coordinating Council. This would replace the council by the same name but without the word “Interagency”. I like this bill. It will put more of an onus on spreading awareness about this awful thing happening in our state and would give more representation across state agencies. But the best part is it would add five at-large members to the council which could be either victims of trafficking or advocates. One of those five will serve as Vice-Chair of the council.
What I love about this bill is that public awareness signs can be placed at establishments of the Council’s choosing. Many pimps lure what I can only call victim prostitutes into performing sex acts at hotels and motels. So much so that folks are being asked to take pictures of hotel rooms when they stay at them. Authorities want to see if they are the same rooms as ones depicted online on sites that advertise prostitution, like good old Craigslist and Backpage. Although I do see someone on Craigslist has been making it their daily mission to flag as much stuff on there as possible. Not this guy. Place skeeves me out and education keeps me too busy for that!
I do think having a representative from the Department of Education could be helpful for this council. I think all Delaware educators, parents, and students should get training on what human sex trafficking is, what the signs to look out for are, and what they can do about it as citizens of our state. Having someone to coördinate that with our schools could be helpful to getting the word out. While anyone could be lured into being a victim of human sex trafficking, the homeless population or runaways are considered to be somewhat easier for pimps to manipulate. There are homeless students in Delaware. Teenagers are one of the pimp’s primary targets as well, so educating students on how pimps brainwash their victims is very important.
This is the second article of legislation introduced in the 149th Delaware General Assembly dealing with human trafficking this year. A lot of the credit for that goes to Yolanda Schlabach who has made it her mission in life to end this scourge on Delaware society. She is the chief advocate for this issue in our state and she goes above and beyond what most citizens could or would do. Below is the bill, and underneath that are other articles I’ve written about these insidious crimes against human rights.