Actress helps fight child sex trafficking in Ore.

by Wayne Havrelly

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kgw.com

Posted on January 17, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 17 at 12:37 PM

PORTLAND — Hollywood actress Daryl Hannah has long been an activist against child sexual slavery. This weekend, she rode with Portland police officers as they patrolled strip clubs and areas known for prostitution.

Hannah was in Portland for a weekend conference against human sex trafficking.  It was organized by Soroptimist International, a women’s organization dedicated to improve the lives of women.

Hannah shared her experience of going undercover into brothels in places like Cambodia as she worked on a documentary about human sex trafficking. Saturday night, she rode along with Portland police.

“I was shocked at what I learned,” said Hannah. “Most of the girls in these strip clubs are not just girls looking to make cash, a majority are represented by pimps.”

US Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., also recently went on a ride along with Police on the human trafficking detail. What he saw convinced him to push congress to help local survivors of sex trafficking.

He’s co-sponsored a bill to fight the problem and talked about it last Friday during a town hall meeting at Milwaukee High School. “We’re going to get it passed early this year,” he said. “There’s going to be help, shelters for young women so they can get their lives back together.”

“To learn there are no shelters specifically for victims of trafficking is absolutely shocking,” said Hannah.

According to FBI estimates, more than 100,000 underage girls are exploited for commercial sex in the U.S. every year. Wyden’s bill would authorize $2 million grants for six areas in the nation known for child sex trafficking.  Portland would likely be one of those areas.

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