When the national media hits, I hope it is more than a 20 second reference on the News. I hope it isn’t just some broadcaster saying, in “National news, Rhode Island made prostitution illegal today. They were the only state in the union that had decriminalized prostitution behind closed doors for the last 29 years.” I hope they do at least a few minutes on the story.
First, lets look at the reason that prostitution became legal in RI. In the projo article, you can read the history. The article goes into how this “loophole” was created to clean up the streets. The best thing about this article is the comments, majority of the people don’t want the law to change. The results of the poll are the same, over 63% of the respondents say they do not want the law to change. So why was it changed?
To help the victims of human trafficking you say? The prostitution bill is not going to help any victim of trafficking, it will only hurt them. Women who work with trafficking victims have asked that we do not pass the bill. Women from the spas who, lets face it, are the whole reason they have been trying to change the law have also spoken out. The National Organization of Women and Human Trafficking Experts have also spoken out against this new law.
Well, there is a bill to be voted on for human trafficking. I supported that bill. What I really liked in that bill was the training for the police. I think the police need training, especially since just over 2 weeks ago Police found a 16 year old girl beaten and confused outside a strip club who had been kidnapped from Boston and sent her to the training school. (For those of you not from RI, that is our prison for kids) You can read that story on the projo.
Now the legislation has two separate bills before them, and a hell of a budget. It all comes down to money, we all know that. After throwing a 16 year old victim of trafficking into prison, I guess money training the police not to do that is too much to ask.
State Police Superintendent Col. Brendan P. Doherty said Tuesday before the Senate hearing that he was concerned that the training could be time-consuming and expensive. But the new version of the bill states that it’s up to law enforcement to determine the necessary training.
OK, you don’t want to spend your time or our money to help the victims? But lets now change the prostitution law?!? We have money for the additional impact on our prison, money for the impact on our legal system, and money for the “massages” undercover officers can get? We have money to criminalize commercial sex but not to protect or help victims? We don’t even have money for schools!!!
I heard someone at the state house said we are the laughing stock of the country. I think it is true, but not for the same reason as he thinks.