HARRISBURG – Rep. Meghan Schroeder (R-Bucks) joined lawmakers and advocates at a press conference in the state Capitol to introduce a package of bills which is aimed to fight human trafficking in Pennsylvania.
“Human trafficking has posed a great threat to the Commonwealth and to the safety of our communities. We are doing everything we can to end human trafficking by ensuring victims find safety and providing additional tools to our law enforcement,” said Schroeder.
Schroeder’s legislation, House Bill 2175
, would expand the list of offenses where an expert may testify about the dynamics of sexual violence and victim responses to sexual violence. House Bill 2175 has unanimously passed the House Judiciary Committee and is now being considered by the entire House.
“By allowing expert testimony in human trafficking cases, our juries will better understand the dynamics of victim behavior such as grooming, post-traumatic stress disorder, and why victims delay reporting,” said Schroeder.
The package of legislation is intended to protect victim’s privacy, guarantee their safety and make it safer for them to testify against their abusers. The human trafficking bills, which Schroeder has co-sponsored, include:
• House Bill 2174
, which would prohibit defendants from introducing evidence of a human trafficking victim's past sexual victimization in a trafficking case.
• House Bill 2176
, which would expand activities that constitute the crime of unlawful contact with a minor.
• House Bill 2177
, which would expand the list of sexual offenses that require offenders to attend a Department of Corrections counseling program.
• House Bill 2178
, which would require a court to consider whether a household member has been convicted of human trafficking prior to awarding child custody to a party.
The package of bills now awaits consideration in the state House.
Representative Meghan Schroeder
29th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rene Morrow