Victory and Justice Prevails For Sex Trafficking Victims and Their Families
A historic vote late Tuesday led to the passage of H.R.1865, the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA) and the Walters Amendment, which puts survivors of sex trafficking one huge step closer to seeking the justice they have been waiting for!
This is standing up to websites like backpage.com—who knowingly exploit women and children for financial gain by serving as a brothel for online advertisements for traffickers.
The passage of this key legislation sends a strong message to federal courts who have for far too long misinterpreted Congress’s original intent of section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, allowing such websites to be shielded from claims of sex trafficking victims while profiting to the tune of millions. The overwhelming bi-partisan vote is a critical step towards draining the cyberswamp of commercial sexploitation by the sellers and buyers of women and children and the companies who shield them.
This monumental vote brings trafficking survivors one step closer to being able to pursue civil and criminal litigation against their exploiters, as well as the opportunity for state attorneys general to present and prosecute cases on their behalf.
It’s time to move this bill forward to the Senate with a matter of urgency, which has already offered unprecedented bipartisan support of 67 Senate co-sponsors. Each day that passes by represents a day that countless women and children are exploited in the most unimaginable and degrading fashion. Organizations such as Enough Is Enough joins with survivors, state attorneys generals, and advocacy groups in saying that we will not stand by idly while website executives line their pockets at the expense of those they abuse.
Yesterday’s vote represents significant progress. Now it’s time to eliminate the federal liability protections for the greedy masterminds behind the websites that place profit over human dignity.