Senator Wyden — Survivors Urge You to Support SESTA

Dear Senator Wyden,

We are an alliance of survivors of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation from all across the country writing to ask that you support S.1693, Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 (SESTA).

We understand that you recently put a hold on this critical legislation and we ask that you remove your hold immediately.

As survivors of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, we know the deep and profound harms caused by sex trafficking. We lead organizations that provide services and advocacy for exploited individuals, and continue to see first-hand the irreparable harms caused by online sex trafficking. It is time to hold these websites accountable for the harm that they cause.

SESTA is needed to help and disrupt the purchase of sex online. Every day, thousands of women and children are marketed and purchased online with ease and impunity. It is as easy to order sex with children and exploited adults online as it is to order a pizza.

Companies that are criminally involved with these illegal transactions should be prosecuted at the state and federal level. Companies that engage in this type of criminal conduct should have to answer to civil claims. As you know, several sexually exploited children filed suit against Backpage under the TVPRA, but their case was dismissed. The Court stated that even if Backpage were engaged in the crime of trafficking, it was nonetheless protected by Section 230. The court advised these survivors to seek a legislative solution.

These survivors are doing just that. SESTA has been proposed to close this judicial loophole so that companies like Backpage can no longer operate with impunity.

We ask you to support SESTA and hope you will stand with us to at long last, provide victims of online sex trafficking with a pathway to justice.

Sincerely,

1. A’ishah Amatullah, Freelance Survivor Advocate, Dallas, TX

2. Alexandra (Sandi) Pierce, PhD, Survivor, applied sociologist, President, Othayonih Research LLC, Saint Paul, MN

3. Alisa Bernard, Survivor Advocacy Coordinator, The Organization for Prostitution Survivors, Renton, WA

4. Allison Franklin, Survivor Leader, Houston, TX

5. Amanda Casey, Survivor Activist/Track Leader, Trafficking Justice, Minneapolis, MN

6. Amy Andrews-Gray, Survivor-Leader, Activist, SME, CHTA, CCA, Director, Survivors Consultation Network , Desert Hot Springs, CA

7. Amy Engle, Survivor Leader, Phoenix Dream Center, Phoenix, AZ

8. Amy Lee Peine, Direct Services Provider, Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center, Saint Cloud, MN

9. Andrea Shields, Advocate, Marceline, MO

10. Angel Harris, Survivor, Rebecca Bender Initiative, Portland, OR

11. Angela Renfro, Survivor Leader, Kristy Love Foundation, Louisville, Kentucky

12. Angelica Kauhako, Survivor Mentor/Leader, Honolulu, HI

13. Angie Conn, Survivor Leader/Consultant/Mentor, Self-employed / Rebecca Bender Initiative Elevate Academy Mentor/ Shared Hope Ambassador, WV

14. Ann Wilkinson, Director of Mentoring Services, My Life My Choice,- JRI , Boston, MA

15. Anna van Beveren, Survivor Activist, NC

16. Annika Mack, Survivor Leader, The Embracing Project, Las Vegas, NV

17. Ashley Lyons, Survivor Activist, Advocate and Leader, EVA Center, Boston, MA

18. Athena Haddon, Survivor Leader, LIFT, Worcester, MA

19. Autumn Burris, Founding Director, Survivors for Solutions, CO

20. Brook Bello, Leader, More Too Life, Sarasota, FL

21. Brynn Obermeier, Survivor advocate, Fort Worth, TX

22. Cathy Baurer, Survivor, AZ

23. Caroline Oliver, Survivor Activist, Carmichael, CA

24. Cherie Jimenez, Survivor Activist, EVA Center, Boston, MA

25. Christine Nelson, Executive Director, Artist and Survivor, Power Of Choice Minnesota 5013(c), Columbia Heights, MN

26. Cindy Hathcock, Survivor Leader, My Safe Haven, Newton, NC

27. Cindy Spencer , Survivor Advocate, The Switch, Columbus, OH

28. Darlene Pawlik, Survivor Activist, Darling Princess, Manchester, NH

29. Dawn Worswick, Survivor, GP, OR

30. Deborah Pembrook, Survivor Advocate, Watsonville, CA

31. Deena, Survivor Activist, PA

32. Delores Day, Survivor Leader, Restore Innocence Ranch, Waukesha, WI

33. Diane Countryman, Advocate Speaker Survivor, Miami, FL

34. Emily Hollerbach, Survivor Leader, Monroe , WA

35. Erin Wright, Survivor Leader, Rose of Hope, Carson City, NV

36. Hannah Tomes, Survivor and Activist, Rittman, OH

37. Hazel Fasthorse, Victims Advocate, Atlanta, GA

38. Heather Sewell, Survivor Leader, Heatherheartflo.com, Indianapolis, IN

39. J.S., Survivor, TN

40. Jacqueline, Survivor Activist, Minneapolis, MN

41. Jenelle Gordon, Survivor, CA

42. Jennette, Survivor Leader, CA

43. Jennifer Smith, Survivor/Advocate, Parents Targeting Traffickers, Salem, OR

44. Jeri Moomaw, Executive Director, Innovations HTC, Olympia, WA

45. Jerome Elam, Survivor Leader, Trafficking in America Task Force, Gainesville, FL

46. Jessica Joy Neely, Survivor Activist, This is My Story, Trenton, NJ

47. Jewell Baraka, Survivor Abolitionist, Kansas City, MO

48. Jill Ranes, Director, Out of Egypt Network/Abolitionist, Advocate and Activist, San Jose, CA

49. Jolene Hollis, Survivor Leader/ Human Trafficking Case Manager, Covenant House Hollywood, CA

50. Joy Alona, Survivor leader, Colorado Springs, CO

51. Kailee Favaro, Survivor Leader, East Nassau, NY

52. Kat Teears, Care Coordinator, Switch, Greenville, SC

53. Kathi Hardy, Founder/Executive Director, Freedom From Exploitation, Inc., San Diego, CA

54. Kathleen Mitchell, Survivor Leader/Advocate, MN

55. Kathy Bryan, Director of Elevate Academy, Rebecca Bender Initiative, OR

56. Katrina Taylor, Advocate, McKinleyville, CA

57. KC, Youth Advocate/Mentor Mission 21, Rochester, MN

58. Keisha Head, Lead Case Manager, Salvation Army, Conyers, GA

59. Kelley Alsobrook, Survivor Leader, Memphis, TN

60. Kenneth Wayne Meadows, Advocate , Rebecca Bender Initiative, Pensacola, FL

61. Kjersti Bohrer, Survivor Activist, Beautiful and Loved, Inc, Eagan MN

62. Kristine, Advocate, Tacoma, WA

63. L. King, Exploitation/Multiple Rape Survivor, Herndon, VA

64. Lakeisha, Advocate, Lss- Streetworks, Saint Paul, MN

65. Lanie George, Survivor, Executive Director, Redeeming Joy, Harrisburg, NC

66. Laura Johnson, Survivor Activist, Iam laurajohnson, Milwaukee, WI

67. Laurin Crosson, Survivor/Leader, Rockstarr.org, Provo, UT

68. Leslie F. King, Survivor Leader, Sacred Beginnings Transitional Home, Grand Rapids, MI

69. Lisa Hughes ad, Survivor Activist, Underground Creations, Tampa, FL

70. Lisa L Brix, COO, Yes I Am Foundation, Princeton, MN

71. Lorna Wilson, Survivor Activist, Black Butterfly Books LLC, MI

72. Madonna Collins, Survivor, Chicago, IL

73. Rev. Dr. Marian Hatcher, Survivor Leader, SPACE International USA, Chicago, IL

74. Marjorie Saylor, Founder/CEO, The Well Path, Escondido, CA

75. Mark (Marq) Daniel Taylor, CEO and Founder, Yhr B.U.D.D.Y. House, Inc., Riverdale, GA

76. Marlene Carson, SurThriver, The Switch, Columbus, OH

77. Marti MacGibbon, Survivor Leader and Advocate, Sacramento, CA

78. Megan Lundstrom, Executive Director, Free our Girls, CO

79. Melinda Starrett, Survivor Leader, Lakeland, FL

80. Melissa Borstelmann, Survivor Activist, Charlotte, NC

81. Michelle Johnson, Survivor leader, Hpserve, Baton Rouge, LA

82. Monica James, Survivor Activist, Providence, RhRI

83. Monique Calderon, Survivor Leader, Survivors Speak & Treasures, Monterey Park, CA

84. Nancy Johnson, Survivor Advocate, Houston, TX

85. Necole Daniels, Survivor Leader, CA

86. Nicole Bell, Executive Director, Living In Freedom Together, Inc., Worcester, MA

87. Noel Gomez, Co-Founder, The Organization for Prostitution Survivors (OPS), Seattle, WA

88. Rachel Thomas, Survivor Leader, Ending The Game, CA

89. Rebecca Bender, CEO & Founder, Human Rights Activist & Author, Rebecca Bender Initiative, Grants Pass, OR

90. Rebekah Begay, Advocate, Work with the FBI, Billings, MT

91. Robin Miller, Survivor Advocate, CSEC Case Manager, Vancouver, WA

92. Shanna Parker, Survivor Leader/Founder & CEO, AngelsGoToWork, Phoenix, AZ

93. Shawnee Love HHD, PhD, Survivor Leader and Advocate/Dr. S. Love HHD, PhD, Purple Hearts Missions Possible & Healthy Horizons, Native American Warriorz Task Force , NY

94. Stephanie Roberts, Leader and Advocate, Miami, FL

95. Tammy Bitanga, Advocate, Peer Support Specialist, Community Outreach Manager, Ho’ola Na Pua, Honolulu, HI

96. Teresa, Survivor, OR

97. Tori Thompson, Survivor Activist, Free Our Girls, Inc., Greeley, CO

98. Tricia Grant, Survivor/Leader , If Only 1, Lewiston ME

99. Trudee Able-Peterson, Survivor Leader Advocate, Minneapolis, MN

100. Dr. Vednita Carter, Founder, Breaking Free, Inc., St. Paul, MN

101. Wendi Westmorelan, Survivor Activist, Danville, AL

102. Wendy Barnes, Survivor Activist, WA

World Without Exploitation

The movement to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation

World Without Exploitation

Written by

Creating a world where no one is bought, sold, or exploited.

World Without Exploitation

The movement to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade