Local non-profit discusses combatting sex trafficking with Sen. Cortez Masto

U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto toured Awaken a non-profit in Reno that helps combat sex trafficking.
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 11:23 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Local non-profit, Awaken, welcomed U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto to discuss efforts to combat human trafficking.

The senator toured the non-profit’s facility, which offers a safe space for survivors. She learned about the difficulties survivors and advocates face.

Some of the biggest issues discussed were the legalization of sex work in the Silver State and the housing crisis, in reference to the continuing needs of those who’ve been victimized by the sex trafficking industry.

“The work that I do in the Senate, in this space; I’ve carried with me because of the incredible people in this state who continue to advocate in this space, and doing everything they can to address this issue and to continue to bring attention to it. There is more that needs to be done,” said Cortez Masto.

During her visit, Cortez Masto spoke about her bi-partisan legislation that was recently signed into law by President Joe Biden, to help train law enforcement on identifying and preventing youth trafficking.

Representatives with Awaken say having the senator visit and meet survivors is critical to advocacy efforts.

“I think its always important to bring awareness around this issue. It’s the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world, but it‘s really unknown still in many communities. So, the more awareness we can bring around the issue, the better,” said Melissa Holland, CEO/Co-Founder of Awaken.