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Rep. Jarrells observes first Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Ohio made possible through bipartisan legislation

January 11, 2023
Dontavius L. Jarrells News

COLUMBUS– State Rep. Dontavius L. Jarrells (D-Columbus) today observed Ohio’s first Human Trafficking Awareness Day, made possible through bipartisan legislation he sponsored, House Bill 561.

“Designating January 11th as Human Trafficking Awareness Day was a big step in our fight to bring more attention to a crime that leaves a lasting toll on human life, families, and communities across this state,” said Rep. Jarrells. “The way to stop human trafficking is to learn about it, share what you learn with others, report it, and support organizations on the front lines, and that is what today is all about.”

As of June 2022, Ohio ranks fifth for human trafficking cases. However, Ohio’s rate of human trafficking is 3.84 victims per 100,000 state residents, putting Ohio at the fourth worst ratio in the nation. This victim-to-population ratio translated to 450 human trafficking cases in Ohio during the same year. Even more alarming, Columbus is ranked ninth in the United States for human trafficking. 

The bill was incorporated into Substitute Senate Bill 63, which allows county probation department to accept credit card payments. Sub. SB 63 is sponsored by Senator Sandra O’Brien. After passage by both chambers of the Ohio Legislature, the bill was signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine.

“I would like to say thank you to Senator O’Brien and members of the Senate for including HB 561 in Sub. SB 63, designating January 11th as Human Trafficking Awareness Day,” said Rep. Jarrells. “I would also like to thank my joint sponsor, Representative Tracy Richardson, for working with me on the bill and former State Senator Teresa Fedor for her continued leadership in raising awareness on Human Trafficking. Together, we can raise awareness on this important subject and bring an end to these crimes in Ohio. Today is the first step.”