This past week marked a historic time in the fight against child sex trafficking. In a landslide vote of 97-2, the Senate passed the FOSTA-SESTA bill which takes direct aim at websites that facilitate and profit from sex trafficking.
No longer will these websites – which knowingly facilitate online pimps –
be shielded from criminal liability. The loopholes, which enabled mass sexploitation, have been closed, and even before the bill has been signed into law, many websites have already moved to shutter prostitution ads, shut down websites entirely, and establish new online policies. In Seattle alone,
law enforcement has identified over 130 websites
on which women and children are bought and sold for sex. This change in the law will make a significant impact in our own backyard.
“This victory demonstrates the power of what can be accomplished when communities come together around a united cause and demand change,” said Loria Yeadon, Chief Operating Officer of StolenYouth. “From supporters, survivors, and activists, to our coalition members and partners, to the fearless “Jane Does” in our community, who we are proud to have worked alongside, StolenYouth is grateful for your support, dedication, and partnership in pushing this historic legislation to passage with overwhelming bi-partisan support. Many thanks to the Women’s University Club for hosting our SESTA rally watch in January and to all who attended in support of this legislation. Special thanks to all of you who contacted your Congressional representatives via phone calls, SESTA cards, and email to urge them to pass FOSTA-SESTA.”
Our community of hope for a better future for our youth propelled this legislation, overcoming powerful opposition. Now, at last, the era of tolerance and immunity for online sexual exploitation is ending. This is a great moment in the fight to end child sex trafficking throughout the country as well as right here in Washington state, sending the clear message that our children are not for sale.