An effort to let victims of human trafficking hide their addresses fell short in the session that just ended, but its sponsor will bring it back next year.

State Senator Gina Walsh (Photo Courtesy of Senate Communications)

State Senator Gina Walsh (Photo Courtesy of Senate Communications)

State Senator Gina Walsh (D-St. Louis County) proposed to add human trafficking survivors to Missouri’s “Safe at Home” program, so they could have a substitute mailing address to make it harder for their assailants to find them.  Walsh said she will try to push her legislation through earlier next session.

“I want to try and get it over to the House sooner and maybe get it to the governor’s desk before we reach that point where we’re talking about nothing but the budget in the last couple weeks of session,” said Walsh.  “We need to do anything we can to assist the victims of these heinous crimes, even if it’s just as simple as giving them a safe place for their mail to go.”

Walsh said human trafficking has become a growing problem in Missouri due to its central location in the United States.

“It’s a big problem, we’re connected to major highways that run east west across the state,” said Walsh.  “A lot of the hotels right at the end of that highway 70 corridor, 270 and 70 in the St. Louis area have had issues there.”

Walsh said it’s important to remember that human trafficking affects both men and women.

“Of course it’s more prevalent with women than it is men, but men can become victims of these crimes as well, and we need to protect all our citizens,” said Walsh.