Sex Trafficking Has State on High Alert

Human traffickers apparently believe there’s increasing demand in Connecticut for the criminal sex they offer, that according to a federal prosecutor.

Federal and state officials announced on Nov. 4 the formation of a Connecticut Human Trafficking Task Force. The police departments of Waterbury and Naugatuck are among law enforcement agencies in the state with membership in the task force.

Workers with the New Haven-based human rights advocacy organization Love 146 are glad to see increased attention to the issue of sex trafficking, an issue they believe is often misunderstood by the public.

Erin Williamson, a survivor support coordinator with Love 146, said that in her experience many Americans think of sex trafficking as something that happens far away in foreign countries. Or, if Americans do think of domestic trafficking, they think of it as occurring with foreign-born children brought here by traffickers.

That’s not an accurate picture, Williamson said.

“The concept that this happens to our own children, it’s something that’s hard to wrap your mind around, and it’s something that’s hard to stomach,” she said.

Further, victims of trafficking in the U.S. often face “a dearth of services” that are equipped to offer specialized care to those victims, Williamson said.

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