Help MeDid you happen to catch the national news yesterday? Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal, signed four bills into law that will help fuel the fight against human trafficking in his state. These new laws increase the penalties against perpetrators, broaden the reach of those held accountable and offer more resources for victims of this horrific crime. You can read those bills here (HB 1025, HB 569, HB 1105 and HB 1262).

At the signing of the bills into law, Governor Jindal said,

I am proud to sign these bills into law to help us win the war against human trafficking in Louisiana. These crimes are happening at alarming rates in America, and the Louisiana State Police has seen rising numbers right here in our state. Criminals who engage in these human trafficking crimes deserve the harshest punishment that we can possibly give them. They should be given zero opportunity to ever harm anyone again. That’s why we made human trafficking one of our top priorities this session, and that work has allowed us to strengthen penalties and better protect the victims of these heinous acts.”

Governor Jindal didn’t stop there. $250,000 was added to the state budget for development and implementation of a human trafficking training course. He said,

This course will help law enforcement better understand the signs of human trafficking, and it will help officers learn how to combat these criminal activities as they patrol our streets and communities.”

This didn’t happen because of the efforts of the governor alone. In fact, the four bills that were signed into law were written by Rep. Neil Abramson, Rep. Julie Stokes, Rep. Valarie Hodges, and by Rep. Barry Ivey. Those four individuals relied on information and research brought to their attention by many others. Organizations like A21 Campaign and Trafficking Hope and concerned citizens were a part of the lobbying for tougher penalties for perpetrators and greater resources for the victims.
This isn’t a one person fight. It takes an army of dedicated individuals doing what they can in the fight to make a dent in the enemy’s camp. It takes people like you and me.
Proverbs 31:8 says,

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Where can you speak up? Where can you be a voice for those who have been silenced? In your home? In your neighborhood? Your workplace? Your place of worship? What about through your vote? Do you elected officials at the local, state, and national level know your feelings on the issue of human trafficking?

I’m certain that more states would follow Louisiana’s lead if more people would raise their voices for hope. Will you?