When people think of sex trafficking, an awful crime that turns kidnapped children into sex slaves, the U.S. typically doesn't cross people's minds as a place where this happens.
Not only do sex traffic rings exist in the U.S, but according to statistics, between 14,000 and 17,000 foreign victims are trafficked into the U.S each year.
Now, in Virginia, legislation has been passed for a stand-alone bill that would outright ban sex trafficking in the state.
If the legislation is signed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, it would help to outline and define exactly what sex trafficking is, as well as make it a Class 5 felony, meaning perpetrators will get no less than a year in prison.
If a minor is sex trafficked, anyone under the age of 18, it will be a Class 3 felony.
Recently, sex trafficking has become the "second fastest growing crime in the country," and something needs to be done to stop it.
State Sen. Mark Obenshain is happy about the legislation's progression. He said, "Children are being recruited into prostitution by gangs and traffickers in schools, neighborhoods, malls and online. The fact that the average age at which a child enters into prostitution is 13 should serve as a wake-up call."
Hopefully, this legislation will be a starting point to tackle this horrendous crime, and more states will follow suit.