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Contact Info 90 West Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43215


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Exposing Sex Trafficking in Columbus

Council President Zach Klein Commissions Study to Understand the Cause and Effects of Sex Trafficking

[COLUMBUS, OH] "I was sexually assaulted from the age of 4 to 12 by the man who I thought was my father," said a young woman during a 2015 Public Safety Hearing to discuss human trafficking. "Because he had betrayed me, violated me and assaulted me for so many years, my perception of what love is, what approval is and what boundaries are, was destroyed."

This is one of many stories Council President Zach Klein has heard from women over the past five years while serving as a member and now President of Columbus City Council. As a result, Klein has commissioned study to understand sex trafficking in the City.

"We want to further explore connections between sex trafficking and drug addiction to better understand this complex issue plaguing our neighborhoods," said Klein. “The data provided in this study will help the City effectively use existing resources in Columbus and provide these victims with the tools they need to succeed."

Community Resource Partners will conduct the study.

"This project explores the human trafficking issue at a local level," said Community Research Partners Director of Research and Data Services Megan Johanson. "The final report will provide recommendations on the ways Columbus can support human trafficking victims in recapturing their lives and building a better future for themselves."

The study focuses on the rate of sex trafficking in the City, the services and support available, best practices and the best way to serve victims. It is expected to take seven months.

"We are fortunate to have advocates and service providers in Franklin County who tirelessly fight on behalf of victims," Klein continued. "These individuals and organizations need to have the best networks and resources available as well."

Second to drugs, human trafficking, which includes sex trafficking, is the fastest growing criminal activity with an industry estimate of more than $150 billion in revenue. It also destroys the lives of everyone involved.

Since taking on his role as Council President, Klein has continued to look for effective ways to combat sex trafficking.

In 2015, he authored Hotel/Motel code that created a licensing scheme that provided an expedited process in addressing criminal activity, which could include closing the establishment.

In July 2016, President Klein appropriated $250,000 to Alvis, Inc. to renovate an out-patient facility on E. Livingston Ave. (1289-1293 Livingston Ave). Its support services include treatment for drug addiction and victims of human trafficking.

An estimated 1,078 America-born Ohio children will enter into sexual slavery this year. There are another 3,000 who are at-risk.