Mother of woman forced into prostitution speaks to lawmakers

By Kenny Choi
Published On: Apr 13 2012 09:13:21 AM HST
Updated On: Apr 13 2012 10:51:14 AM HST

A woman told state lawmakers her daughter was abducted and forced into prostitution and something needs to be done to protect them.

HONOLULU -

A mother told lawmakers Thursday that her daughter was abducted and forced into prostitution and more needs to be done to protect young women.

"There is not a bone in my child's body that wanted to do it," she said.

The mother, who wishes to be anonymous, said her daughter stayed in prostitution for her family.

"Until this very day, she says she stayed for us, which is heartbreaking because no child should have to endure that for her parents," she said.

State lawmakers are considering bills that would require establishments, like strip clubs and massage parlors, to display posters providing information relating to human trafficking and a national resource center for help.

"When we have stronger policies, we not only help deter people from getting involved in this business but we help the victims," said Rep. John Mizuno.

But, some groups oppose aspects of the bill, including one that allows convicted prostitutes to vacate their convictions if they claim they carried out sexual acts against their will.

"We have a lot of concerns about how this process is set up because it is inconsistent with our current criminal justice system with how it functions," said Lance Goto from the state attorney general's office.

Part of the bill would add services to minors forced into sexual slavery or labor.  State child welfare officials said they support the intent of the bill, but do not have the resources.

"I don't know how we're going to add this on our plate and be able to be effective and manage the trafficking," said child services worker Kayle Perez.

House and Senate negotiators will discuss the bills next week.

Human Trafficking Bills

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