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San Diego Leaders Announce New Campaign To Combat Sex Trafficking

Above: Interim San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria speaks about a new campaign to help combat sex trafficking during a news conference outside of San Diego Police Headquarters, January 30, 2014.

One of San Diego’s most disturbing crimes often stays in the shadows. Sex trafficking victims, as young as 12 years old, become trapped as prostitution slaves for years because they don’t know where to turn for help.

San Diego leaders and advocates are hoping to change that with the help of Senate Bill 1193 and a statewide campaign to raise awareness of the crime.

Human Trafficking Hotlines

National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 1-888-373-7888

California Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST): 1-888-539-2372

Under a California SB 1193, a broad range of San Diego businesses, including massage parlors, bars, farms, bus stops and emergency rooms, will be required to display a poster, similar to this one, that includes a telephone hotline for human trafficking victims seeking help, or to report unlawful activity.

The new California law, effective April 1, requires a broad range of businesses, including massage parlors, bars, farms, bus stops and emergency rooms, to display a visible poster that includes a telephone hotline for human trafficking victims seeking help, or to report unlawful activity.

"Human trafficking is a $32-billion-a-year industry, rivaling drug trafficking and illegal arm sales,'' San Diego interim Mayor Todd Gloria said during a news conference Thursday in front of San Diego Police headquarters.

Gloria said posters were mailed out to 400 San Diego businesses this week.

"This campaign, and by working together with law enforcement agencies, will aid in getting victims support that they need and will result in the prosecution of the individuals committing these crimes," said Gloria.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said sex trafficking has tripled in San Diego County over the past four years.

"It’s clear that this is a scourge on the rise," said Dumanis, "and believe me, it’s happening in neighborhoods across San Diego.

Dumanis said one trend on the rise is the involvement of gangs.

"Increasingly they’re engaging in human trafficking as a money making operation. We’ve even seen rival gangs cooperating to make money to replace their drug dealing efforts," said Dumanis.

Under the law, businesses that fail to display the poster will be fined $500.

Comments

Avatar for user 'sbcabello'

sbcabello | January 31, 2014 at 9:45 a.m. ― 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Wow. I'm going to desist now. I'll state only this caveat to lawmakers and media:

1) People only read headlines
2) "Sex-trafficking" is a misleading headline, whether you are printing a government sign or a newspaper banner.

Call it what it truly is to get the support it truly deserves.

Sex-trafficking is one thing. Forced prostitution is another.

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Avatar for user 'MelContent'

MelContent | February 24, 2014 at 11:38 a.m. ― 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Sex-trafficking is one thing. Forced prostitution is another.

Quite true, but to paraphrase Rahm Emmanuel, no politician or bureaucrat worth his salt would let a good moral panic go to waste. Find "human trafficking" under every rock and watch the matching Federal dollars roll in...

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Avatar for user 'thompsonrichard'

thompsonrichard | February 24, 2014 at 12:03 p.m. ― 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Gloria said posters were mailed out to 400 San Diego businesses this week. Under the law, businesses that fail to display the poster will be fined $500.

Farms and bus stops? That sign is taller than one of the women holding it. William Tell was a Swiss archer of the 14th century who refused to honor an unfit authority. Isn't it the practice of the public figures here to allow Westfield Inc. to skip out the payment of millions of dollars under the unfavorable Horton Plaza lease by pretending the historic fountain would be restored and a public park created? When will that happen? After the Gloria administration ends? After the Faulconer administration ends?

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