Join me in the effort to fight human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault
Our state and community are facing an increase in human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault. To combat these problems, we each need to do our part to become informed and to help where we can.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
- Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado https://www.ht-colorado.org/
- Colorado Coalition Against Sex Assault https://www.ccasa.org/human-trafficking-2/
- Sarah’s Home https://www.sarahshome.us/#!
- Restore Innocence https://www.restoreinnocence.org/
- TESSA https://www.tessacs.org/
MY EFFORTS AND LEGISLATION
When I first ran for office, citizens brought to my attention the problems our community is facing with these issues. As I listened and then researched these issues, it became clear that our laws were not protecting the victims of these heinous crimes and were hampering law enforcements efforts to bring these perpetrators to justice. Below is a list of some of my successful efforts to address these serious issues. All these bills were signed into law.
- Mandatory Jail for Human Trafficking of Minors I was shocked to learn that Colorado law did not impose a mandatory jail sentence on human traffickers that profit from child sex slavery. My bill requires mandatory jail for a person convicted of human sex trafficking of a minor.
- “Truckers Against Trafficking” bill modifies commercial driver’s license training to include information on reporting human trafficking crimes. Colorado truckers and law enforcement advocated for this bill. Since many victims are trafficked at or pass through truck stops, educating truck drivers on what to look for helps police find and rescue these victims.
- Human Trafficking Awareness Training. Allow the Colorado Dept. of Public Safety to provide human trafficking training to law enforcement and victim assistance groups in ongoing fight against trafficking. Direct School Safety Resource Center to provide training on awareness and prevention of human trafficking to local schools.
- Data Privacy for Victims of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking County Treasurer Mark Lowderman and County Assessor Steve Schleiker told me that they could not block information about these victims from their database, thus enabling their abuser to track them down. My bill fixed this problem.
- A bill to make it a crime to retaliate against or intimidate a witness in civil cases. Our legal system can only work if witnesses are protected when they do their civic duty, report wrongdoing, and testify in court.
- Toughen sexual assault laws. This bill adds certain conduct to the definition of illegal sexual contact in response to a 2018 court acquittal in a sexual assault case. We must ensure that criminal sexual assault is fully prosecuted.
- “Revenge pornography” is the posting or distribution of sexual photos without the pictured person’s permission. My bill closed loopholes in Colorado law to better protect victims from this serious crime.
BILLS POSTPONED THIS YEAR DUE TO COVID
- Increase support for Domestic Abuse Programs. The bill would have increased assistance for victims of domestic violence. While I pulled this bill given our shortened session, I supported a bill to continue the tax check-off for the Colorado Domestic Abuse Programs Fund, which was signed into law. I will continue to work on strengthening assistance for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, especially with the increase in abuse during COVID.
- Increased Prosecution and Criminal Penalties for Child Pornography Last summer, an El Paso County Sheriff detective, who worked child pornography cases, brought to my attention that technology has outpaced the law, hampering our ability to investigate and prosecute the sexual exploitation of children. This bill modernizes descriptions in our current laws against sexual exploitation of children by including terms that capture a perpetrator’s access to this material, wherever found, and accounts specifically for livestreaming of these heinous crimes. I will reintroduce in 2021.
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