FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 4, 2023
OLYMPIA – Survivors of sex trafficking will have easier access to a network of healing, support and transitional services thanks to legislation from Sen. Claire Wilson’s (D-Auburn).
Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5114 into law Thursday.
In 2020, the National Human Trafficking Hotline ranked Washington 11th in the nation for reported cases of human trafficking. That same year, the highest numbers of likely sex trafficking victims were identified or served in King, Pierce, Benton, Franklin, Clark, Snohomish, Spokane, and Thurston counties.
Sen. Wilson, chair of the Senate Human Services Committee, said this bill will offer supports like safety planning, housing and relocation, substance use disorder treatment, and other trauma-informed services. It will also require these service providers to have presences in both western and eastern Washington.
“As Governor Inslee signs this bill into law, I’m elated,” said Dr. Mar Brettmann, CEO & Executive Director for Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking and a co-founder of WASE Forward. “This bill represents the vision and hard work of survivor leaders in our community. The almost unanimous support by legislators shows that Washington cares about adult sex trafficking survivors, who we are now empowering with better opportunities to rebuild their lives.”
“We not only want to support our survivors, we want to empower them. This legislation shows that we will walk side by side with them as the heal and transition into new phases of their lives. It also demonstrates our commitment to ending stigma and finding successful paths forward.”
SB 5114 goes into effect on July 23, 2023.