RALEIGH, NC (FOX 46) - North Carolina lawmakers are considering legislation to help victims of sex trafficking. The proposal involves tens of millions of dollars.
The state is now among the top ten states when it comes to human trafficking, with Charlotte being the number one city for it in the state.
It's often portrayed as something that only happens to foreigners somewhere in a dark alley or shady motel, but it happens with prevalence here in the Tar Heel State. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 181 cases were identified in 2016 and House Bill 910 is looking to turn that trend around.
Representative Bill Brawley, a a Republican serving the Matthews area, is one of the co-sponsors of House Bill 910 which goes by the title of Human Trafficking Resistance and Rescue.
The bill does several things to help victims of sex trafficking It would allocate $37.5 million to go towards shelter beds, $13.5 million would go towards mental health assistance for victims, and $4.5 million would go towards educating students on the important warning signs of sex trafficking.
In a statement Representative Brawley said, "House Bill 910 represents the next step we're taking in order to address the growing epidemic of human trafficking. The two-year pilot program is designed to educate students and law enforcement on the signs of human trafficking, as well as providing additional shelter beds and expanded mental health services for victims. Over the next two years, the data gathered can help us determine what we can do in the future to stop modern-day slavery worth more than $160 billion worldwide."
The legislation is also receiving praise from the Human Values Coalition which released their own statement in support of the bill, "Our coalition will continue to create a culture in North Carolina which values all human life, and human trafficking must not be tolerated in our state! By focusing on student awareness and law enforcement training combined with additional shelter and medical resources this pilot program seeks to help lawmakers determine what resources might be needed statewide to combat those who steal the freedom and innocence of our women and children by forcing them into sexual slavery."