Today, the Nebraska Attorney General was joined by many partners to announce the Demand An End public awareness campaign addressing child sex trafficking. The campaign focuses on the supply and demand model of trafficking by targeting those who purchase sex. Sex trafficking of minors occurs not only in larger cities but also in rural areas across Nebraska. In fact, the Human Trafficking Initiative reports1 that in Nebraska 11% of those sold for sex online are advertised under the age of 21.
This campaign is one of the ways the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office and the State of Nebraska are actively fighting the sex trafficking of minors. It capitalizes on the momentum of LB 289, a law that increased the penalties of those who are involved in sex trafficking and now holds buyers responsible, penalizing them as traffickers.
In 2016, Attorney General Peterson was joined by many partners while spearheading the creation of the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force (NHTTF). NHTTF’s objectives are to help survivors of trafficking, stop traffickers, and eliminate the human trafficking market.
Demand An End initiative specifically advances the objectives of the NHTTF. Child sex trafficking exists in Nebraska due to a tragic cycle of supply and demand – the supply being children who are frequently abused and exploited at a young age, and the demand coming from individuals seeking to buy minors for sex. To end both supply and demand, Nebraskans must protect children from exploitation and stop purchasers by raising awareness about this crime. Demand An End brings this crime out of the shadows, warning those who buy sex with minors that they may face severe consequences for participating in this crime.
The campaign will launch in a range of locations, including state rest stops along I-80. A heat map of Nebraska’s commercial sex market by the Human Trafficking Initiative shows that most activity occurs along this major thoroughfare. Targeting the interstate allows for a large cross-section of Nebraskans to be reached. It also brings awareness to those traveling in and through our state that trafficking will not be tolerated.
Posters are available for partnering organizations to print and post in their local libraries, recreation centers, truck stops, or places of business. The campaign will also be promoted by partnering members through their newsletters and magazines as well as their social media platforms. The Office of the Attorney General created a YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXKvs_pmRHM) to host the Demand An End PSA and to support the distribution.
Attorney General Peterson is joined by numerous partners including Nebraska Constitutional office holders, state senators, mayors, county attorneys, sheriffs, the Department of Transportation, Nebraska Trucking Association, the Nebraska Latino American Commission, League of Nebraska Municipalities, Nebraska Council of School Administrators, non-profits, and countless private citizens all who share a deep concern to protect our citizens.
Attorney General Doug Peterson said, “Although it is very troubling to know that young people are being trafficked in Nebraska, I am encouraged that so many Nebraskans have united to fight child sex trafficking. Together, we must demand an end to this form of slavery.”
1. Crysta N. Price and Terry D. Clark, “Nebraska’s Commercial Sex Market”, Women’s Fund of Omaha, The Human Trafficking Initiative