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

Saturday, September 7, 2013

International Day of the Girl

October 11th will be The International Day of the Girl to kick start a movement against gender bias and for girls’ rights everywhere.

This day will be an opportunity to raise a global voice on behalf of females everywhere in the service of providing equal opportunity for young girls to become educated and take their rightful place as respected citizens in society. This dedicated day will be an opportunity to make a forceful statement about the need to protect young girls from early marriages, sex trafficking, physical abuse and denial of personal growth opportunities. No society can flourish when half of its citizens are denied rights afforded to males. Elevating the status of women will create a rising tide that will lift all ships everywhere. Girls are not for selling, girls are not for hurting, girls are people too. The International 

Day of the Girl will trumpet these sentiments loudly around the world.

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