Contact Your PA Senator

E-mail/Call-in Campaign – Safe Harbor Legislation.  Please Contact Your State Senator:

We need your help.  Please take a moment to call or email your PA State Senator to advocate for the passage of Senate Bill 851, Safe Harbor for youths under the age of 18 who are victims of sex trafficking.
It is vital that our legislators hear from as many constituents as possible before mid October.  The e-mail script and call-in scripts are below for your use.
Please be sure to call or email the legislators who represent you.  You can call his/her Harrisburg office phone. Or you can copy and paste the e-mail script below into your legislator’s e-mail contact.   All contact information can be found on this website:   www.legis.state.pa.us.

CALL-IN SCRIPT:

Call your Senator’s Harrisburg office number, let the receptionist know you are a constituent, and ask to speak with the Senator or a staff person about a piece of pending legislation relating to human trafficking.

Cover the following key points during your call:
  • I am calling to ask for your support for SB 851, Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth, which is expected to come up for vote before the close of this legislative session.
  • The legislature passed a comprehensive anti-human trafficking law in 2014, but we need to do more to protect child victims of sex trafficking.
  • Right now, without the passage of SB 851, girls and boys Pennsylvania who are sexually exploited by traffickers become re-victimized when they are arrested and prosecuted for prostitution and other “masking crimes” arising directly out of their sexual exploitation.
  • [If asked, the other “masking crimes” are: criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, loitering and prowling at night, obstruction of the highway, providing false identification to law enforcement, and simple possession of a controlled substance.]
  • By granting immunity to child trafficking victims for the crime of prostitution and these limited related offenses committed as a direct result of their victimization, SB 851 recognizes that there is no such thing as a child prostitute.
  • In addition to ensuring that we protect, rather than prosecute, the child victims of sex trafficking in our communities, the passage of SB 851 will also achieve three related goals.
  1. First, SB 851 will empower child welfare agencies to develop specialized victim services, such as housing, mental health, and substance dependency treatment.
  2. Second, the law will create a platform to provide training to law enforcement to both identify a sexually exploited child, and to coordinate appropriate victim’s services.
  3. Lastly, SB 851 will establish a fund created through convicted traffickers’ fines to enhance victim services and increase public awareness about human trafficking.
  • You should also be aware that if Pennsylvania does not enact this Safe Harbor legislation, we will not be eligible for financial assistance pursuant to the federal Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.
  • Passing SB 851 will allow us to show compassion for sexually exploited children, and stay focused on the real criminals in our efforts to combat human trafficking
  • As a concerned citizen, [INSERT IF APPLICABLE – and a member of NAME OF COALITION OR ORGANIZATION], I hope I can count on your vote in favor of SB 851.
  • [IF YOU WILL BE IN HARRISBURG ON 10/17, ADD: I expect to be in Harrisburg on Monday, October 17, 2016, to advocate for SB 851. Would it be possible for me to set up a meeting with the Senator or a member of [his/her] staff about the Safe Harbor bill?]
  • Try to confirm next steps on setting up the meeting while you are still on the line and thank him/her for his/her time and consideration.
E-MAIL SCRIPT:
Dear Senator [INSERT Senator’s Name],
My name is [INSERT YOUR NAME], and I live in [INSERT YOUR TOWNSHIP AND COUNTY].I am writing to you today to urge you to support Senate Bill 851, Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth, which is expected to come up for vote before the close of this legislative session. SB 851 is vital to our efforts to protect sexually exploited children in Pennsylvania.

As you may recall, in 2014, the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted Act 105, a comprehensive anti-human trafficking law, but we need to do more to protect child victims of sex trafficking. Without the passage of SB 851, girls and boys in our Commonwealth who are sexually exploited by traffickers become re-victimized in the juvenile justice system when they are arrested and prosecuted for prostitution and other “masking crimes” arising directly out of their sexual exploitation, including criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, loitering and prowling at night, obstruction of the highway, providing false identification to law enforcement, and simple possession of a controlled substance. By granting immunity to child trafficking victims for the crime of prostitution and these limited related offenses committed as a direct result of their victimization, SB 851 recognizes that there is no such thing as a child prostitute.

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