Mr. Chair, I thank the gentlewoman from Alabama for the time and the work on this bill. Mr. Chair, I also want to thank Mrs. WAGNER from Missouri for sponsoring this bill, along with the help of our friends on the other side.
You notice, Mr. Chair, that everybody who is in line, mostly, who are here to speak are women, and I want to congratulate the women in Congress, because they have taken the lead for making sure that we stop this scourge of human sex trafficking. Mr. Chair, I also want to thank the different groups, victims groups, throughout the country who have continued to give us input on what we can do to make laws better.
I call those groups the victims posse, because they are here all the time rounding us up, talking to us about what they want and think is necessary to make life better for victims. Mr. Chair, according to most, Alexa was a normal and well-adjusted 15- year-old girl, teenager, but like many young people, she struggled with insecurity and loneliness.
So when a handsome and sympathetic man reached out to her on social media, she was immediately taken in by his kind and comforting words. Most Americans don’t realize that the evils of human trafficking are all around us.
Traffickers lurk on the phones, on computers, and on the internet, constantly searching for vulnerable victims to lure into their traps. After months of manipulation, Alexa agreed to meet her new online friend.
As soon as she got into his car, she realized that this person was a different person than she believed him to be. He chained her and forced her to have sex for money, and he committed this evil numerous times.
Technology has changed our world in countless positive ways, but it has also given human sex traffickers a direct avenue to our children and their lives. We, as a society, must work harder to capture these criminals and shut down their online schemes.
Only then can we protect others from Alexa’s fate. This is our job.
This is our duty. We must stop the trafficking network.
Not in our town, not in our city, and not in our State.
And that is just the way it is.