Braking Traffik logoIn 2006, Senator Maggie Tinsman sponsored legislation the made human trafficking a felony. The legislation passed unanimously and was signed by Governor Vilsack. Maggie is proud to have contributed to Iowa’s becoming the 14th state to pass a law criminalizing human trafficking as well as making it a serious felony with social services available to victims and training available to law enforcement.

After leaving the legislature, Maggie founded Braking Traffik, an organization dedicated to eradicating sex trafficking in Iowa and Illinois. The focus of the organization was on educating the populace and law enforcement personnel about the prevalence of human trafficking in the Midwest, coordinating a victim centered response, and advocating to ensure justice for victims. In 2014 Maggie advocated for a second bill in the Iowa Legislature to strengthen penalties for human trafficking, set up a victim’s fund, and allowed prosecutors to refer those under 18 to the Department of Human Services as a child in-need of assistance. In 2015 Maggie also advocated for making human trafficking a forcible felony, for the use of $300,000 for training requirements for the police, and for $750,000 for training local law enforcement, highway patrol, judges county attorneys, etc. In 2016, the Braking Traffik program became a program of Family Resources.

Now, Maggie serves as the Chair of Braking Traffik Advisory Board. She continues to work to combat human trafficking in the State of Iowa, and has become a major speaker on the “Global and Local Problems of Human Trafficking” in Iowa and Illinois. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded or coerced in labor or sexual exploitation. Human trafficking deprives people of their rights and freedoms, is a global health risk, and fuels the growth of organized crime. It has a devastating impact on individual victims, who often suffer physical and emotional abuse, rape, threats against self and family, and even death.

Maggie has made presentations on this issue to numerous community groups wishing to join the fight against human trafficking and help work toward solutions. If your group is interested in this issue, please visit braking traffic at http://www.famres.org/services/braking-traffik.

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