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During the third week of June, FBI agencies and partners across the country conducted a sting that resulted in the arrest of 281 pimps and the rescue of 168 juveniles who had been victims of trafficking. There's still a long way to go to eradicate trafficking, but as awareness increases, more funding and hours are allocated to fighting it.
Looking for an overview of the problem of trafficking in our county? In fall of 2012, Diana Janz (Hope Ranch Ministries founder) spoke with Maria Anderson of Eugene Daily News.
In her article ("The Price of a Life: Human Trafficking in Lane County"), Maria Anderson collects important information about how lucrative sex trafficking is for pimps and points out that this is a problem of demand. Her article gives us a sober reminder that we need to stand beside women in their time of need--they are approached for prostitution within 48 hours of being on the streets.
We need your help to change this community: to drive down demand for the purchase of sex, to alleviate the pressures that drive people into prostitution, to ease the paths to redemption and safety.
On April 20, 2014, the Register Guard published Regan Shattuck-Smallwood's story of how she got into and out of sex trafficking. This courageous teenager’s willingness to be open has helped put the pimp who trafficked her in jail, and it also sheds light on how trafficking can happen in Eugene.
In April 2014, a former Lake Oswego cheerleader and her pimp were indicted for recruiting girls into prostitution. The recent media attention has helped draw attention to how girls are recruited into prostitution, but much of the attention has been on the former cheerleader, Julia Haner’s, role.
Elizabeth Alston, writing for House of Engedi (a Corvallis organization for trafficking survivors), pointed out in a thoughtful blog post that the media coverage of this tragedy has focused on Haner, rather than on of her pimp, because of how easy it is to overlook the dynamic between a pimp and a trafficking victim. Alston warns us that “just because a story is about trafficking, doesn’t mean it necessarily helps us change the stigma or misconceptions around the issue.”