The statistics in today’s front page article that takes a look into how one woman has worked to combat the sex trade in the United States are enough to make your head spin in absolute disbelief.
The article recounts a visit to Camas by Linda Smith, a former congresswoman who founded Shared Hope International, and the War Against Trafficking Alliance to coordinate regional and international efforts to combat sex trafficking.
Unfortunately, as the article details, this issue is not someone else’s problem. It’s occurring right here in Oregon and Washington, to an almost unbelievable degree.
Statistics indicate that due to the cities’ locations along the I-5 corridor, Portland and Seattle are considered the top two areas for sex trafficking in the United States. One can only assume that the Vancouver area and its residents are impacted as well.
Smith has worked diligently for many years to raise awareness about the issue of sex trafficking, and create more harsh penalties for those who solicit a woman or child for sex.
And the Camas-Washougal Soroptimists have also focused on assisting women of all ages, in a number of ways. And their effort, along with the work of groups like Shared Hope International, to bring this sex trafficking epidemic to light is among the most important. It not only should continue to be supported by local communities, but for all of the women and children who unfortunately are most often the victims, it must.