Pennsylvania’s sex trafficking problem misunderstood

(The Center Square) – Few understand the complexity and scope of sex trafficking in Pennsylvania, experts say, making it harder to combat the issue at the legislative level.

The seminal issue arose during the Senate Majority Policy Committee’s recent public hearing in Pittsburgh in keeping with Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

While experts and law enforcement professionals were happy to have the spotlight shown on a little-understood issue pervading the state, the hearing demonstrated a need to align language, priorities and interests around the topic. The committee heard testimony from experts ranging from law enforcement professionals to those working in outreach, education and victim services, who emphasized the widespread and home-grown nature of the crime.

“These cases are not what you see in Hollywood,” said Michele Kelly Walsh, executive deputy attorney for the state’s Office of Attorney General.

Testifiers said that most victims are from the communities where they’re trafficked, often vulnerable
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