Democratic Senator Ron Wyden Thursday announced plans to seek federal funding to fight sex trafficking in Oregon.
Police officers say a high number of prostitutes and pimps operate in Oregon’s sex trafficking underworld.
Flanked by law enforcement officials, Wyden says the state would benefit from millions of dollars in federal grants he proposes.
Ron Wyden: “Sex trafficking is slavery, pure and simple. It’s a crime against human dignity in which teenage girls, many of them virtually children, are bought and sold for sexual exploitation. It is an international problem, but it is a very real Oregon problem.”
Wyden says this proposal would take money from the existing federal crime-fighting budget, and hand out multi-million-dollar grants to regions in the greatest need.
Portland officials said money could be used to build long-term housing for victims who have come forward to help prosecute pimps.