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In offensive against sex trafficking, Ann Wagner steps into controversial realm

Posted by on Monday, May 5th, 2014 @ 2:00 pm.

By Chuck Raasch
May 03, 2014 11:00 pm

Dedee Lhamon, founder and executive director of The Covering House, a home for girls who have been involved in sexual trafficking or exploitation, talks fundraising with a staff member at her office on Friday, May 2, 2014. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

Dedee Lhamon, founder and executive director of The Covering House, a home for girls who have been involved in sexual trafficking or exploitation, talks fundraising with a staff member at her office on Friday, May 2, 2014. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

WASHINGTON • Finally, the fear of staying overcame the fear of leaving for Katie Rhoades.

A man had coaxed the drug-addicted 19-year-old from Portland, Ore., to California, where she spent two years being sold to men for sex. At last, she decided that if she stayed, “I was going to end up in a dumpster or be sold to another pimp. And that was terrifying.”

So at 21, Rhoades fled to the safety of a nurse practitioner who had cared for her as a child.

Rhoades, now 33, has earned a master’s degree in social work from Washington University and counsels girls and women in the city trying to escape or avoid the life she led. She tells corporate gatherings about how they can fight the problem.

Rhoades was trafficked for sex, a victim in an industry that activists say is widely known to Americans, but whose destructive reach is not fully grasped. Congress is starting to pay attention. Three bills designed to come down on human trafficking are working their way through the House of Representatives and could be up for votes this month.

One measure, sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, may turn out to be the most controversial. Her Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation act would criminalize advertising of sex with people, including children, held in human trafficking or sexual slavery.

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Short URL: https://www.disclosurenewsonline.com/?p=44136

Posted by on May 5 2014. Filed under D.C. (Capitol). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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