FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
April 9, 2015

 

Lawmakers’ Bill Connecting Human Trafficking Victims to Resources Signed Into Law

Madison, WI…  Yesterday, Governor Scott Walker signed into law (2015 Act 5) a bill authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and Representative Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) aimed at helping victims of labor and sex trafficking.

“One of the largest issues with human trafficking in the state is the lack of awareness. Not only does this bill increase awareness in the community, but it connects victims with necessary resources. Through this bill we aim to turn victims into survivors,” said Sen. Petrowski.

The bill requires the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) to create and make available posters with the national human trafficking resource center hotline. Under the bill, the DOJ shall encourage establishments such as truck stops, hotels, salons and hospitals to display the poster.

“This hotline is an essential resource for some of our most vulnerable citizens who have nowhere else to turn and likely no way to know help is available. On the other end of the hotline are trained professionals who can refer information to law enforcement and connect callers with appropriate resources. A simple phone call or text can be the first step toward escaping the horrors of human trafficking,” said Rep. Loudenbeck. 

The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is staffed by trained individuals who determine the best course of action for the caller. The hotline is anonymous and confidential, and is accessible in 170 languages. 

Since 2007 there have been 705 calls to the hotline from Wisconsin, 189 calls were made in 2014 alone. To report possible human trafficking or to obtain information on services for trafficked persons, call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).

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