EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT) – 140 human trafficking cases were reported in Indiana in 2020. Just three years earlier, the National Human Trafficking Hotline says there were only 95 cases.
The U.S. State Department calls human trafficking the fastest growing and second largest criminal industry in the country. Evansville Representative Wendy McNamara spoke to Eyewitness News to talk about her latest efforts to protect young victims of human trafficking. You can view the interview in the video player above.
McNamara, chair of the House Courts and Criminal Code Committee, authored a bill to allow young victims to provide recorded video statements instead of physically testifying in a courtroom where they are forced to relive past trauma. McNamara said this change would not only help protect young victims, but also remove an emotional hurdle so that more children are willing to testify against their perpetrators.
“Thanks to technology, we can take this step on behalf of young victims who deserve justice and room to heal,” McNamara said. “This commonsense approach will encourage more victims to testify and ultimately put more traffickers behind bars. In Indiana, we will hold human traffickers accountable for their heinous actions.”
Local organizations and agencies would also begin reporting human trafficking cases to the Indiana Attorney General’s Office no more than 30 days after an investigation begins.