Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Opinion

March 6, 2014

Protecting Iowa's children

A topic that most Iowans prefer not to acknowledge nor discuss is human trafficking. However, it is a serious matter in our society that we can no longer afford to ignore. With the I-80 and I-35 corridors that crisscross our state – and the I-29 corridor that runs along our western boarder – this issue is likely more prevalent than what we are willing to admit.

Human trafficking turns people into commodities – sexual objects that can be bought, sold, used and then discarded. No person should ever be treated this way.

Sexual exploitation typically harms vulnerable young women and children in our society. According to the latest report from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, of the known cases reported in Iowa, 82 percent were female. 73 percent of those cases involved minors.

This past week, I floor managed House File 2254, a bill designed to especially protect minors from this degrading and predatory practice.

Specifically, this bill grants county attorney’s the discretion to refer minors – who they suspect have been forced into prostitution – to the Department of Human Services; alleging that they are a child in need of assistance, rather than prosecute them for the crime. HF 2254 also increases the penalty for anyone engaged in the practice of pimping for minors.

Human Trafficking, however, is not just a problem of supply, but also demand. That is why HF 2254 also increases the penalties for those who proposition a minor for sex.

I was grateful to work with several colleagues, from both parties, to craft this legislation so that it would garner unanimous support in the Iowa House (98-0). HF 2254 sends a message that Iowans are serious about this issue and will not tolerate the sexual exploitation of young women and children.

Also this past week, a bill which toughens penalties for those convicted of crimes against children, specifically kidnapping, was passed by a margin of 94-3. House File 2253 was generated after a last summer’s kidnapping of Kathlynn Shepard and Desi Hughes, near Dayton, which resulted in the murder of Shepard, who was 15.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Another View Charlotte mug Another View

    Last week on TV – remember?  Pictures of the D-Day landing when Allied troops waded through cold waves, June 6, 1944, to face Nazi guns and land on the beaches of Normandy, France.  

    June 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • In the House of Wood

    I sometimes worry about what little regard is shown for human life these days. 

    June 18, 2014

  • Heisman winner's legacy wasn't about football
    If you've heard of Nile Kinnick, you’ve never forgotten his story. If you haven't, it’s a relatively short one with a sad ending.
     

    June 5, 2014

  • The Rules of the Road By Jill Pertler I do not consider myself an excellent driver. I am good, or maybe just okay - around a B-minus to a C-plus if I were giving out grades. I am not great at maneuvering into tight parking spaces or knowing when it is my turn at a four-wa

    March 21, 2014

  • Steve mug Creativity rules! I've noticed as a married man that there are times in our marriages when it is just nice to be right. Take for instance Monday night. By the time I got home from the council meeting, I was pretty hungry. I didn't grab anything to eat before my evenin

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Frankford mug Acute Temporary Comfort Rejection Syndrome By Phillip Frankford Acute Temporary Comfort Rejection Syndrome

    March 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shivvers pic 21st century overwhelm, beginning with shampoo I was in a hurry and needed only one more item at the grocery store. Shampoo. I wanted shampoo to wash my hair. But I found a hazard course - and couldn't remember how I got through the last time. What should I do? Would it be simple "anti-itch liqui

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Next time ... To the Editor: While surfing my Facebook page, I came across this message: "I Shall Continue To Do What I think Is Right Whether Anybody Likes It Or Not." -Harry S. Truman. After reading this quote, I decided to tell my experience. I was walking to m

    March 21, 2014

  • Protecting Iowa's children A topic that most Iowans prefer not to acknowledge nor discuss is human trafficking. However, it is a serious matter in our society that we can no longer afford to ignore. With the I-80 and I-35 corridors that crisscross our state - and the I-29 corr

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter: Disagrees with Shivvers To the Editor: I read, with interest, Ms. Shivvers' comments in her opinion piece "Another View-Breaking Bad in Iowa" in the Feb. 14, 2014, edition of the Knoxville Journal-Express. It is the first time I have heard today's agriculture compared to th

    March 6, 2014

Features
AP Video
US Evacuates Embassy in Libya Amid Clashes Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Obama Asks Central American Leaders for Help Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Obama Advisor Skips House Hearing Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives'
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

Yes
No
     View Results