Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The War Against Sex Crimes: New York Times News Service-04.22.14

Lawmakers seem to be getting more serious about the fight against sex crimes.

Senator Orrin G. Hatch, R. Utah is fostering a bill that targets sex trafficking in the foster care system. Hatch noted that he was inspired to draft legislation after hearing the testimony of a victim at a recent Senate hearing in which it was revealed that 60 percent of child sex-trafficking victims came from the foster care system.

Additionally the fight against sexual crimes seems to be viewed as a winnable battle. Recently Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D. NY asked the White House to direct the Education Department to streamline the handling of sexual assault complaints in the military and to require all colleges to conduct standardized anonymous surveys on campus assaults.

There is a mounting tide of outrage at the sexual abuse and exploitation of girls and women and resolve to take action to stem this tide.

Richard Lazere, on behalf of East Portland Rotary

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Second Chances for Sex Trafficking Victims

Elizabeth Hovde, Sunday columnist for the Oregonian, recently authored the above titled column about the need for more enlightened perspective re H.T. victims who have retaliated against their pimps. She cites the case of Sara Kruzan from California who shot and killed her pimp after several years of sexual slavery. She soon will be free, finally at age 35 to reclaim her life outside of prison walls. Hovde also discusses the case of Portland resident “Annette” who set her pimp on fire. She served time for this act and has gone on to be a contributing member of society. 

Hovde makes the case that our justice system needs to carefully consider its priorities and emphasize rehabilitation and a second chance for those who retaliated against their captors. She makes the case that we need to support those women who work to redeem themselves as Kruzan and “Annette” have. We need to give such cases a second look and decriminalize them. She closes the article by stating “ Let’s make sure we have their backs”

Richard Lazere, Ph.D. on behalf of East Portland Rotary Human Trafficking Committee

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I was Trafficked. Why didn’t I Run?

“Women in The World” recently shared the story of Sophie Hayes (pseudonym) who was trapped in the web of sex trafficking by a boyfriend she had known for several years. She tells the story of her boyfriend inviting her to visit him in Italy. Once there she experienced this man whom she had learned to trust turned into a monster who threatened her with violence and death if she did not obey. She talks of the intimidation visited on her by her pimp/boyfriend who terrorized her into bondage. Sophie’s passport was taken from her and she was beaten daily. 

The author suggests that this year 700,000 to four million women and children will be forced into sexual slavery. Sophie now works with survivors to try and help them to reclaim their future.

Sophie Hayes is the author of Trafficked: My Story of Surviving, Escaping and Transcending Abduction into Prostitution. She has her own foundation which can be referenced at

Richard Lazere on behalf of East Portland Rotary Human Trafficking Committee