A Memorial related to sexually exploited children in Pennsylvania — Passed  August 2016

Whereas the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America statement on sexual exploitation says “The system of sexual exploitation corrupts God’s wonderful gift of sexuality by reducing it to a marketable item, separating sex from mutual relationships of trust, love, and equality intended by God”;

Whereas human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the exploitation of others by using force, fraud, or coercion against victims to manipulate them into engaging in commercial sex acts;

Whereas within the geographical boundaries of our Synod Route 30 and I81 are among the largest “hot spots” for sex trafficking in Pennsylvania;

Whereas  Up to 100,000 children are victims of human trafficking each year in the United States, the average age of a female when she gets into sex trafficking being 12 years old;

Whereas  minors engaged in  sex trafficking are victims, not perpetrators, and lead miserable lives controlled by pimps using coercion and physical force, some of them suffering terrible beatings and abuses;

PA Senate Bill 851 would provide protection from prosecution for minors for the crime of prostitution; requires child welfare agencies to develop specialized services for minor victims of sex trafficking; requires training for PA State Police, intake officers, law enforcement, prosecutors and other staff focusing on trafficking victims; and establish a fund to enhance victim services and increase public awareness;

Resolved that the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Lower Susquehanna Synodical Women’s Organization write to Senator Greenleaf in support of Senate Bill 851, encourage individual members to contact their state senator to support this bill, and share the information about sexual exploitation of children in our state, noting that it is never the victim’s fault.

First Lutheran Church, Chambersburg


Signature of Congregational Unit President