Reporting Pat Warren
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Heartbreaking accounts from victims of human trafficking in a state Senate committee hearing Tuesday.
Political reporter Pat Warren explains they are testifying on behalf of a bill to protect victims under 21.
They are victims of predators.
Khlani Sweeney was a victim of human trafficking.
“It’s like someone taking all you have,” she told WJZ. “It’s terrible.”
Sweeney told her story to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Tuesday, and she wasn’t alone.
“Prostitution is definitely not something you dream of being when you’re in school, but because of the desire to be loved and cared for your dreams are sometimes taken and manipulated and you find yourself a victim,” said Nicole Lee.
A bill in the Senate raises the age of protection for victims of human trafficking from 21 and under and raises penalties to felony counts.
“It’s a horrible experience. I can definitely speak from firsthand on it, and it’s something that there’s really no words to describe it,” Lee said.
Dozens of public and private organizations support the bill.
Supporters say state law protects minors from alcohol and other abuses until they are 21 and sexual exploitation should be no different.