Friday, December 2, 2022


Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.


The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.


The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Human Trafficking Happens in Our Backyard


Tuesday, January 11, 2022   

Modern-day slavery exists in the form of human trafficking, and Ohio is among the top states with high rates of the crime.

Traffickers use force or fraud to compel both children and adults to provide commercial labor or sexual services.

Rosa Beltré, president and CEO of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, explained five major highways with easy access to Canada and the Midwest position Ohio as a hub for human trafficking. She noted the state is also vulnerable because it has both large urban centers and rural areas, as well as a large immigrant population.

"It does happen in our backyard," Beltré emphasized. "We can all help by being in-tune, looking at the signs of physical abuse, of fear. They can also only be empathetic, and just being intentional about being catalysts of change."

Beltré works with the Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, a collaboration of 14 state agencies working to prevent exploitation, support survivors and ensure offenders are brought to justice.

Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and Beltré encouraged Ohioans to wear blue to support the cause.

According to the Ohio Attorney General's Office, in 2020 there were 148 total potential victims of sex trafficking and 94 potential traffickers. Beltré stressed it is a myth all cases involve kidnapping or physical force, since many offenders use psychological manipulation to trick or groom the victim.

"It is not always the white van that is circling around the neighborhood that is abducting people from their homes," Beltré pointed out. "Sometimes we are so focused on the wrong things that we miss the things that are real and are occurring."

Human trafficking is not only prominent among women and young girls, but there is evidence LGBTQ+ individuals and people of color are more likely to be targeted.

Beltré added bystander intervention is important, and encouraged people to report suspected human trafficking by texting 233733 or by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

Disclosure: Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault, Health Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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