Secretary of Iowa Paul Pate has introduced a new state initiative to combat human and sex trafficking within Iowa.
In conjunction with Iowa Businesses Against Trafficking, the statewide alliance will enable Iowa businesses from all communities to take the necessary steps to “promote awareness of human trafficking and the Iowa Safe at Home program,” according to a statement at Iowa.gov.
“Trafficking is Modern Day Slavery- victims need help,” said Pate in an interview with Iowa Field Report.
By “raising an army” of over 260,000 businesses in Iowa to actively engage in becoming more aware of the signs of trafficking, Pate argued the initiative has the potential to “Impact thousands in our state.”
“Iowans are committed and invested in the state,” said Pate, noting how Iowans will do anything to rise above any type of problem together as a community as this plan will hopefully help Iowans become more aware and in tune of their surroundings.
So far, the Secretary Of State’s office has collectively 34 businesses and organizations signed on to be a part of the IBAT.
Joining @IALtGov Adam Gregg to honor Iowans receiving awards for their efforts against #HumanTrafficking. Major announcement coming shortly. pic.twitter.com/5Mcg7vEABd
— Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (@IowaSOS) January 13, 2022
Last year to combat sex crimes against children statewide, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a new bill into law eliminating the statute of limitations of sex crimes against children. Senate File 562 goes over any crimes against children, including incest, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, and human trafficking.
Even then, Des Moines, Iowa is considered one of America’s 100 hotspots in human trafficking, where in 2019, there were 98 trafficking cases in the state.