Saturday, September 25, 2021

Play

New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

Play

The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Gov. Noem Backs Human-Trafficking Bill Introduced at SD Capitol

Play

Friday, January 24, 2020   

PIERRE, S.D. - New laws meant to crack down on human trafficking will be introduced at the South Dakota Capitol today.

According to the Human Trafficking Institute, South Dakota ranks 11th in human trafficking nationwide, with most cases related to sex trafficking. The state also ranks eighth for the number of new cases.

The group Call to Freedom has been working in South Dakota since 2016 to reduce those numbers. Executive Director Becky Rasmussen says traffickers often seek out victims who appear to be homeless or runaways, but Native American reservations are also targets.

"Obviously when you have three of the poorest counties located in the United States here in South Dakota, with some of our reservations," says Rasmussen, "there's a lot of poverty and ability to victimize individuals. "

Trafficking is defined as the use of force, fear or coercion to exploit for sex or labor.

Rasmussen says South Dakota has many communities with major intersecting highways, which makes them more vulnerable to this type of activity. She adds events that draw large crowds of men, such as the Sturgis bike rally and pheasant-hunting, also attract traffickers.

The U.S. Attorney's office for South Dakota has won 80 federal trafficking prosecutions in the state.

Rasmussen says the average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14, and many victims are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children.

"A lot of times, individuals who have been groomed by family members and sold by family members don't understand," says Rasmussen, "because of the dynamic, that they're an actual victim of trafficking, because they were introduced to it by the person that they trust."

Since 2011, Shared Hope International, a group fighting the sex trafficking of minors has issued an annual rating of how well states are addressing the human trafficking issue. South Dakota and Maine are the only two states that received 'D' grades in 2019, while the nation as a whole received a 'B.'


get more stories like this via email

The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …


Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…


According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …

Environment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021