When it comes to the issue of sex trafficking, the organization ‘Shared Hope International’ has given the state of Maine a ‘D’ on it’s report card of all 50 states and the laws currently in place.
Maine is one of 25 states in the nation where children can be arrested for the crime of prostitution.
“I think the big issue with Maine and 5 other states is they haven’t moved any of the laws… In Maine we have worked with law changes, but there seems to be not any hurry, they don’t believe their constituents care” said Linda Smith, the President and founder of Shared Hope International.
While there is a lot of work to be done to get Maine’s report card to improve, Smith thinks the place to start is clear.
“If your law considers her a victim of a crime and takes them out of the prostitution law and says those types of laws are for adults making choices, not for children… that’s your number one and then your demand falls right behind it because if she’s a victim of a crime, your law enforcement call fall back to it’s training, which it really needs, that she should not be arrested but they should go after the buyers….. they go after the traffickers, they go after the facilitators, but most often the buyer walks away without penalty”
To learn more, go here: www.sharedhope.org