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COLORADO – The Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado (HTTFSC) has invited
all concerned citizens of Colorado to participate in the Human Trafficking Advocacy
Day on February 21st.
Lisa Bell from HTTFSC said, “Human trafficking is worse than the shootings of the
innocent children in Connecticut. Those subjected to human trafficking suffer every
day, often for years of their life. And even if they get free of it, they are still
haunted with traumatizing memories for the rest of their lives.”
Tamra Farah, the event chair, encouraged everyone to contact their state congressman
and senator and ask them to support legislation that increases penalties for human
traffickers and awareness for law enforcement officers.
Farah said, “Right now we have a case in Colorado Springs where a man admitted to
pimping out a 16 year old girl, yet the judge is unwilling to pursue the appropriate
punishments for the perpetrator's crimes.”
“The traffickers prey on the weak and the vulnerable,” continued Ferah. “Some children
are approached at football games by a scout for the sex traffickers. The scouts find
a group of young ladies and tell them they're beautiful. Then when they hear one
of the girls say 'No, I'm not beautiful', they target that girl. They form a false
relationship with them and create an emotional dependency. Once the dependency is
created, they ask them to do things they would never consider doing on their own.
Over time, the girls become enslaved to them and perform the sex acts for the pimp's
clients. Often, (if the children resist) they are drugged and forced to turn tricks,
as many as thirty per night.”
Farah said that the task force's founder and chairwoman, Betty Edwards, feels some
of the best tools to combat the issues of human trafficking include education of
law enforcement officers and vulnerable girls.
“If officers can be trained to recognize the subtle signs that indicate a trafficking
violation, then it will be easier to enforce,” said Ferah.