Back in 2015, North Dakota lawmakers took a stand against a challenging issue: human trafficking.
They were able to pass legislation to provide treatment and support services for victims. And today, we got an update.
Chief Deputy Attorney Troy Seibel cited Senate Bill 2203, an additional measure passed in last year’s senate session.
This bill allocates approximately $925,000 to assist victims, and to provide training and education for the community.
District 12 Senator John Grabinger says, “Certainly the awareness that this program has brought out in the training of, for example, law enforcement officers and social workers and people throughout the system to recognize human trafficking and the impact that it has, is bound to have an impact and help.”
But trafficking victims come from all different walks of life, which makes it difficult for legislators to pinpoint a solution.
Founder and Executive Director of Invisible Innocence Brandi Jude says, “Out of the 2016 [Attorney General’s] report, of the 79 victims that were served, 26 were minors. Which is the size of a classroom.”
She adds, “The thing with human trafficking is it doesn’t discriminate against age or social class, or ethnicity or gender.”
A large portion of this year’s funding went to a non-profit that specializes in helping minors get back on their feet.
The organization, Youth Works recieved grant money to support victims at both their Bismarck-Mandan and Fargo-Moorhead locations.