January 14

Victim-centered response to human trafficking supported

LETTER

I have the privilege of being a U.S. citizen, Maine-born, where, in my experience, we have always treated people like human beings.

After traveling to other cultures, domestic and abroad, I was introduced to a global problem affecting local communities: Human trafficking, which is as large as it is pervasive. I believe we have yet to adequately define what the problem is in critical components in our community and ultimately what means to Maine.

Recent articles reference 46 calls from Maine to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, compared to thousands of calls within our U.S. borders. What provisions have been made to post and promote the hotline? Regardless, there are community leaders speaking up who recognize its existence, influence and corrupt ways.

Local law enforcement recognizes the need to support victims is complex. They would benefit from expertise and support such as technical training for police, fire, health care and educators to could improve diagnostic and investigative measures.

Preble Street and its coalition secured a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Justice Department to develop a victim-centered response approach. While the proposal by Rep. Amy Volk, R-Scarborough, to vacate prostitution charges of human trafficking victims is expected to be referred to committee for consideration between January and April, it would ensure victims are recognized as such — not criminals.

Jan. 11 was recognized as Human Trafficking Awareness Day. I encourage each reader to find a way to educate him or herself, to personally get involved and serve this cause. We can start by distinguishing between those who were once kids and the real criminals. In doing so, we will come to, again, realize how good and great our state truly is.

Richard BeanSidney
Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at OnlineSentinel.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)