California – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein today endorsed Proposition 35 – Stop Human Trafficking in California. Slated for the November 2012 ballot, Proposition 35 is an initiative that will fight back against human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and children in the state.
Senator Feinstein endorsed the initiative, saying, “I view human trafficking as the basest of crimes. Proposition 35 would raise sentences as high as 15 years to life for anyone who traffics a minor for sexual exploitation through coercion, violence or duress. It also levies fines as high as $1.5 million on the traffickers to fund victim services. It is long overdue, and I urge its passage.”
As California’s senior Senator, Dianne Feinstein has built a reputation as an independent voice, working with both Democrats and Republicans to find common-sense solutions to the problems facing California and the Nation. In the 111th Congress, Senator Feinstein assumed the Chairmanship of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where she oversees the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies – the first female Senator to hold that position. Senator Feinstein’s many legislative accomplishments include creating a nationwide AMBER Alert communications network to help law enforcement find abducted children.
About Proposition 35 – Stop Human Trafficking in California:
In California, many vulnerable women and young girls are held against their will and forced to sell their bodies. The victims are often girls as young as 12 who are sexually exploited for the financial gain of human traffickers. They are afraid for their lives and abused – sexually, physically, and mentally.
Human trafficking is said to be one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world – and it is taking place right here in our own backyard. Three cities in California – San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego – are recognized by the FBI as high intensity child sex trafficking areas. In addition, a recent national study by a victims’ rights group gave California an ”F” grade for its weak laws dealing with child sex trafficking.
Proposition 35, a partnership of California Against Slavery and the Safer California Foundation, will protect children in California by:
· Increasing prison terms for human traffickers.
· Requiring convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders.
· Requiring all registered sex offenders to disclose their internet accounts.
· Requiring criminal fines from convicted human traffickers to pay for services to help victims.
Proposition 35 has also been endorsed by organizations representing over 95,000 rank and file California Peace Officers, advocates for the protection of children, including Marc Klaas and the KlaasKids Foundation, and victims who survived sexual exploitation when they were children. Prop 35 has strong bipartisan support and is endorsed by both major political parties in California.