Council to Hold Second Hearing on Amendments to Solicitation Code
Councilmember Mitchell J. Brown
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Attend via WebEx
Live on Facebook
Access code: 172 118 7723
Councilmember Mitchell J. Brown, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, will conduct a hearing to discuss proposed amendments to Columbus City Code Section 2307, which would:
- separate the offenses for buying and selling sex
- establish a sexual exploitation offense and penalties designed to reduce recidivism for individuals who purchase sex
- directs a majority of fines paid for violation of this section into a Victims of Human Trafficking fund to be distributed to organizations that provide shelter, basic needs, medical treatment, and counseling services for survivors of human trafficking.
In addition to the proposed amendments and in coordination with their effort to reimagine safety in Columbus, Council has developed the Support for Victims of Human Trafficking grant program. This program looks to provide grants between $50,000 to $150,000 to organizations that work directly with victims of human trafficking.
“We must ensure buyers are held appropriately accountable for their involvement in this exploitative industry while guaranteeing that victims have access to vital services that support their mental, physical, and emotional health,” said Councilmember Brown.
Human Trafficking is a significant concern in Columbus. The impact on exploited victims and Columbus neighborhoods cannot be overstated. Historically, law enforcement has focused on addressing the supply side of this issue with sting operations and arrests. As our community thinks differently about how we support victims of human trafficking, treating them with compassion and respect, it is vital that the focus be shifted to those who exploit victims by purchasing sex in our community.
Any resident seeking to submit written testimony should submit their testimony to the office of Councilmember Brown. Written testimony must be received by noon on the day of the hearing and should be emailed to Grant Ames at [email protected].
Any resident wishing to appear via WebEx to provide testimony during the virtual hearing should email Grant Ames at [email protected] by noon on the day of the hearing to request a WebEx speaker link. Each speaker will be limited to remarks lasting no longer than three minutes.
The hearing will be live-streamed on the City’s YouTube channel and Facebook.