SALEM, Oregon — As a way of combating trafficking in the state of Oregon, Senate Bill 375 has been implemented Friday across the state.
Senate Bill 375, legislation sponsored by Senator Bill Hansell (R-Athena) called for posters to be installed in rest area bathrooms across the state to combat sex and human trafficking. The bill was signed into law in 2017 and officially effective this year.
Working with State Agencies (Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and the Oregon Travel Experience) as well as Nita Belles, Executive Director for In Our Backyard, an anti-human trafficking organization headquartered in Redmond, Oregon, the concept was put forward in the 2017 Session and passed unanimously in both legislative chambers.
“I am so glad these posters have been installed in the rest areas,” Sen. Hansell said. “Sex Trafficking and Human Trafficking is an epidemic that must be stopped. It is a terrible practice and a horror that is in every city and community nationwide. Most sex trafficking occurs at rest stops along the Interstates and the Human Trafficking hotline received 300 calls from Oregon alone in 2016. Anything we can do to combat this heinous, insidious practice should be done.”
The posters are being installed along I-5 this week and will be in every rest area under the supervision of the Oregon Travel Experience by the end of next week.
The posters are being affixed to the back of the stall doors and include not only a national telephone number but also a text option.
“Even if just one individual is saved from these posters, SB 375 would have been well worth it,” Sen. Hansell said.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888 or you can text “Help” or “Info” to 233733. Anyone needing help or knows of someone in need of help should call. The Hotline is managed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is staffed with employees to speak to you in more than 200 languages.