Child Abuse Law Helping Trafficking Victims

Informing public is key

South Carolina Radio Network
December 10, 2018 - 11:25 am
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A change South Carolina’s child abuse law has led to a better response for young human trafficking victims, according to state officials.

“There was no way for law enforcement to engage, for the most part, DSS (Department of Social Services) to help with the child unless that involved a parent or a guardian,” state Attorney General’s Office Human Trafficking Task Force chair Kathryn Moorehead said. “The legislation has changed that so that now minor sex trafficking victims can receive services directly from DSS and law enforcement can reach out to get those resources for the child.”

The 2018 annual report will be announced on Human Trafficking Awareness Day with an event January 11, 2019 at the State House.

The task force also is starting to get recognition for its progress.

“Shared Hope International does an annual report in which they grade states on their legislation and South Carolina went from a grade of 70.5, C, last year to a high 80’s, a B this year,” Moorehead said. “We were named the number-one state in the country with the most progress in this area.”

Click here to see the Protected Innocence Report Card.

Attorney General Alan Wilson told the task force that South Carolina is on the way to being number one in the nation for combatting human trafficking.

Members of the Task Force discussed continued public education about the issue at the meeting. Human trafficking is occurring in South Carolina, both as sex and prostitution and as forced labor.

“We need to prevent this crime from happening in South Carolina,” Moorehead said. “And if we can’t prevent every case, we need to be prepared to provide the services that victims and survivors need.”

Click here for more information regarding the South Carolina Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888.

 

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