January 10, 2017

Senator Hassan Decries Backpage.com’s Knowing Facilitation of Online Sex Trafficking

Senator Hassan Decries Backpage.com's Knowing Facilitation of Online Sex Trafficking

Click here for video of Senator Hassan's opening remarks at the hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. - TODAY, Building on her efforts to combat domestic and sexual violence and the heinous crime of human trafficking, Senator Maggie Hassan participated in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing on Backpage.com, where she voiced outrage over Backpage.com's knowing facilitation of online sex trafficking.

"I am new to the Senate, but I am not new to this issue. As Governor, I worked with both parties in my home state of New Hampshire to strengthen our laws against human trafficking. So it is really difficult to be here today to understand the lengths to which a private business enterprise would go to circumvent those efforts. There are children in my state and throughout our country, as you've heard from my colleagues, who are victims and now survivors," Senator Hassan said at the hearing. "I am grateful to all of the families, to the survivors who will continue to speak up and help the American people understand this for the devastating exploitation and crime that it is. My mom taught history at my high school and she often said that what kids need to know more than anything else is that they've got a grown-up in their corner. I am proud today that the United States Senate is being that grown-up in the corner for all of our children. I am astounded and horrified that a private business enterprise would be the exact opposite in the United States of America."

The New York Times reported on the case of Emily, a survivor of sex trafficking on Backpage.com who was found in New Hampshire.

As Governor of New Hampshire, Senator Hassan signed several bipartisan bills into law to strengthen protections for human trafficking survivors and increase penalties for perpetrators, including making it a Class B felony to purchase or agree to purchase a human trafficking victim under the age of 18 and requiring registration on the sex offender registry for persons convicted of human trafficking.