Pierce County isn’t safe from human trafficking

4:22 pm March 6th, 2014

By Jim McCune
Every year, human traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits by victimizing millions of people around the world and here in the United States. Human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest-growing criminal industries in the world. Pierce County is not immune from the horrors of this evil.
As the new chairman of Public Safety and Human Services Committee for Pierce County, I hope to engage the public with the issue of human trafficking. The committee has scheduled a one-hour presentation by Shared Hope International, followed by 30 minutes for questions and answers. It will be held at the County-City Building in Tacoma, 10th floor, March 10 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
Human trafficking in the USA is a $9.8 billion industry. At least 100,000 U.S. children are exploited in prostitution every year in America. The average age of a child first exploited through prostitution is 12 to 14. The growing demand for sex with young children is fueled by a glorification of pimping and a normalization of sexual exploitation.
The I-5 corridor is a main artery for transporting trafficked victims. Trafficking is common around conventions, resorts, sporting events, trade shows, malls, strip clubs, shelters, group homes, and on and on. It is more profitable for a trafficker to prostitute a child than to commit other crimes such as dealing drugs, because the child, also known as a “commodity,” is reusable. Perhaps the term “human capital” could be used to describe them as well.
The child is desensitized to sexual images and terms through graphic sex education or porn. Pornography rewires the male brain to become dependent (or addicted) on the natural chemicals that are released when exposed to pornographic images, which is linked to negative perceptions, attitudes and aggression toward women.
As in all criminal activities, there are never enough resources to eliminate the crime. Prevention and rescue starts with the community being familiarized with the signs of recruiting and trafficking, as well as working to maintain a society that protects the innocent mind of a child. Please attend the March 10 hearing if possible, or watch the local TVW broadcast.
We must work to end the demand for commercial sex. We must guide policies that reflect the principles from our Founding Fathers, such as “a free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong.” Pray that our children will be protected from those who wish to do them harm, and that those who seek to destroy their innocence be arrested and prosecuted.

Jim McCune is a Pierce County Council. His district includes Graham, Eatonville and other areas of the county’s south end.

Pierce County Councilman Jim McCune wants to raise awareness of human trafficking.

Pierce County Councilman Jim McCune wants to raise awareness of human trafficking.

2 Responses to Pierce County isn’t safe from human trafficking

  1. Eric Watson Reply

    March 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    I see that the legislature is part of this as well by making more laws to incriminate people to put them in jails and prisons. IT is really odd there are hundreds if not thousands of laws that protect State officials or employees, Judges, prosecuting attorneys or even higher up. If you look at America in a broad perspective, the government uses the people as slaves to form tax payers to feed the government. Havent you noticed….anytime a new idiot gets into the legislature they make some excuse to add a tax to the fuel, to the sales. There is even a USE TAX…now what kind of schmidt is that? America has the highest taxes in the world. Has the highest prison population in the world. Then on top of that…many in other countries are so naive of our taxs or our cost system till they get here. The word freedom does not exist in America. If you buy land in America and have to ask PERMISSION=permit….to do something on your property then …. there is no freedom. You can buy your freedom by paying someone a large amount. Ask OJ Simpson. The only free people in America is the Government officials as they have endless money to spend … from our taxes. The public is not protected….every year….the government finds new ways to incriminate people. Such as the man who almost drown when his ship sank. He is facing criminal charges for saving his life. What about the billions of gallons of oil the government dumps in the ocean each time a oil ship runs around or cracks in the middle. I do believe the government owns the fuel too. But I doubt our government would be honest and admit to it. China people retire at 50. They can no longer work industry jobs. America has SSI for retirement. It was designed to create free money for the government to enjoy. NO? Well the average person when it was designed died at the age of 45 and 50. Then Clinton found 74 trillion dollars of overpaid tax money from the public? DId that have interest to it? When I asked for my old taxes I didnt get several years ago….. I was denied. In my opinion….our Government is nothing but white collar criminals.

  2. Dennis Townsend Reply

    March 13, 2014 at 6:15 am

    A great idea to raise awareness; as plenty others have taken up the cause.

    There are dozens of organizations fighting human trafficking including this one (a self-described Christian abolitionist group founded and chaired by former Congressperson Linda Smith), but there are other religious as well as secular 501(c)3 organizations such as Children of the Night and Project Polaris working this issue (Polaris has a human trafficking hotline, 1-888-373-7888). The messages as to how to combat it are similar, but other organizations should be represented at this forum for how they work. 80% of trafficking victims are exploited for sex, 20% are exploited for labor. Many victims come from Eastern Europe, Brazil and Thailand, are immigrants here and victimized because of their status. Many are run by criminal organizations, often complicit with corrupt governments. Many are trapped in the underground economy by unscrupulous businesses with the same corruptive influences on government, yes even in the U.S.

    I would suggest after this exercise in public awareness, the County would best be served by looking at the amount of staffing for law enforcement, as well as a higher level of engagement law enforcement has with the community, which would include outreach to the public in reporting the activity and identifying victims. Working and expending resources on community quality issues such as blight, trash, abandoned buildings, hard drugs like meth and heroin, would be effective as well – to the degree that a virtuous person would take pride in their community, have trust in their government, call law enforcement when recognizing something is wrong, and have confidence that there will be a response. That’s the County’s charge. If law enforcement has the resources and works its community with the State and the Feds, it may break up a ring, restoring countless lives.

    Again, there are many responsible organizations fighting trafficking and helping victims as well, but that charge should be left to donations and privately-funded non-profits due to the complex nature of the circumstances and widely varying efficiency in administration, effectiveness and philosophy. The cynic in me suspects McCune is looking to attempt to write yet another taxpayer check to a religious organization and political ally at the expense of other pressing County issues. And with all respect to that organization presenting in the interest of awareness and activism, this hearing has the appearance that they are being endorsed by the Councilmember, due to the lack of participation of other worthy organizations that could contribute to the discussion.

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