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Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA, H.R. 1865):  Justice for Juvenile Urban Sex Trafficking in the United States [JUST US] by Sherri Jefferson

March 12, 2018

 

Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA, H.R. 1865):  Justice for Juvenile Urban Sex Trafficking in the United States [JUST US] by Sherri Jefferson

 

 

#FemaleNOTFeemale is a nonpartisan initiative to promote awareness, advocacy, and activities for victims of sex trafficking. One of the initiative involves seeking justice for victims of juvenile urban sex trafficking in the United States [JUST US].

 

What is FOSTA and why is it important?

 

Before Congress is the “Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA, H.R. 1865)” which is intended to help all victims and survivors of sex trafficking. The needs of victims differ significantly than survivors who are fortunate to escape their predators. FOSTA will have a great impact on the lives of victims and survivors of JUST US.

 

Every day in America, our young women and children are sold online to sexual predators who rape, sodomize and molest them. These victims suffer severe mental, emotional, psychological and physical abuse.

 

Their abuse leads to trauma that affects every aspect of government.  From funding education to healthcare to funding human services and the criminal justice system, every federal and state agency pays a price when these victims are sold.

 

Who should absolve cost?

 

So, why should the government and taxpayers absolve all the cost associated with drug addiction due to victimization? Why should the government and taxpayers absolve all the cost associated with depression and mental illness or the cost of abortions, unwanted pregnancies, and children born through victimization?

 

Why should the government and taxpayers absolve all the cost associated with medical services needed for vaginal and anal tearing? Why should the government and taxpayers absolve all the cost associated with the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS and suicidal attempt?

 

Why should the government and tax payers absolve all the cost associated with criminal activity associated with victimization (gang violence, drug dealing, identity theft, fraud, burglary to support drug habits and, murder and incarceration, etc.)?

 

By passing FOSTA, Congress will hold the big-tech companies responsible and accountable for their knowledge of online trafficking of young women and children. They will absolve cost associated with victimization and criminalization associated with sex trafficking.

 

Miscommunications about FOSTA

 

Contrary to the gross misstatements, FOSTA does not interfere with consensual sexual relationships or dating sites. The language of the Bill clearly addressees the platform or avenue that enables trafficking of victims. Sure, not all victims are sold online. However, FOSTA is a step in the right direction to stop enabling sex trafficking through the use of online platforms.

 

The bill’s Senate sponsors, Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), have demonstrated that their bipartisan support can help trafficking victims and survivors by preventing the use of online sells of young women and children in America.

 

Contrary to proponents of the Bill, the purpose of this legislation is not to disable sex workers. The focus of this legislation is to disable trafficking of victims and to give survivors a platform to restore their lives.

 

Sex trafficking is different than the common term prostitution, which means consensual sex in exchange for something of value. However, prostitution is illegal.

To the extent that proponents claim that FOSTA/SESTA will impede their services, this claim is misplaced because the legislative intent of Congress in the passage of FOSTA is neither to legalize nor condone prostitution.

 

Sex worker v. Trafficked for sex

 

Rather, it’s very clear intent is to protect victims and survivors of sex trafficking by providing them a legal avenue to hold websites, both civilly and criminally liable for the illegal trafficking of young women and children.

 

On the contrary, FOSTA and SESTA is not intended to listen to “sex workers.” It is about protecting victims of sex trafficking who are forced to engage in sex work. The abuse of women and children is not a protected right. Victims and survivors need protection.

 

Sex trafficking is not free speech. FOSTA and SESTA gives victims and survivors a voice. Please recognize the difference!

 

FOSTA and SESTA is justice for JUST US.

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