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Kasich speaks out at roundtable on need to fight sex trafficking

New Hampshire Union Leader

January 06. 2016 8:31PM

Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich praised Jasmine Marino, a human trafficking survivor, for her courage in being an advocate, at a roundtable discussion Wednesday at UNH School of Law. (Dan Tuohy/Union Leader)

CONCORD — Visibly emotional, John Kasich spoke about the need to fight sex trafficking through policy, policing and perseverance.

Jasmine Marino, a sex trafficking survivor and advocate, nodded as she sat next to him.

“Don’t you see the miracle? It’s a miracle,” said the Republican presidential hopeful.

Marino told her story, joining Kasich at a round-table discussion hosted Wednesday by the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and the University of New Hampshire School of Law’s Warren B. Rudman Center.

She recounted the criminal abuse she suffered and how she was compelled, a few years ago, to give voice to the problem.

“I did not know I was a survivor of sex trafficking until somebody told me I was,” said Marino, who lives in Massachusetts.

Kasich, a two-term Ohio governor, shared how his state is trying to combat human trafficking and he listened to representatives from the advocacy, legal and law enforcement communities in New Hampshire.

Manchester Police Sgt. Paul Thompson described the connection between drug addiction and trafficking. The problem is not just confined to New Hampshire’s cities, Thompson said.

Amanda Grady Sexton, an advocate with NHCADSV, said the state has had an increasing number of cases. The challenge is further complicated in that the state has neither designated programs nor funding for trafficking victims.

Kasich said that if he is elected President he would further concentrate on the critical issues. Speaking of Marino after the event, he mentioned those who are fighting trafficking on the front lines. “This is absolutely a profile in courage,” he said.

Politics Social issues Crime Concord John Kasich

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