© 2023 KUNR
Celebrating 60 years in Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Senator Cortez Masto highlights legislation to help curb sex trafficking during visit in Reno

Catherine Cortez Masto stands among four other women smiling and in a conversation. They’re inside a brightly lit building with white walls and white-painted bricks. The word “Love” is in colorful letters on one wall.
Lucia Starbuck
KUNR Public Radio
Nevada Democratic U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto spoke with staff members of Awaken Reno, a nonprofit that helps people transition out of sex trafficking, in Reno, Nev., on March 24, 2023.

Nevada Democratic U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto visited a Washoe County-based organization that helps survivors of human sex trafficking on Friday.

Awaken Reno is a faith-based nonprofit that helps people transition out of sex trafficking and connects survivors with education, transitional housing, and counseling.

Cortez Masto toured the facility and spoke about her legislation aimed at addressing the issue. She wants to further her work to stop the sale of people taking place online, like on social media.

“Every time there is a big event, like a Super Bowl or some event that’s coming to a big city where there’s a lot of men coming into that city, there’s more of our children or adults that are being sold online, sexually exploited.”

Las Vegas will host its first Super Bowl next year.

One recently-passed law provides law enforcement with access to federal funding for training on how to recognize and rescue youth who are being trafficked. Nevada has the second highest human trafficking cases per its population.

It’s an issue the Nevada legislature is looking to tackle during the legislative session as well. Late last week, state lawmakers passed a bill out of committee that would increase the punishment for a customer who engages in unlawful prostitution.

Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning journalist covering politics, focusing on democracy and solutions for KUNR Public Radio. Her goal is to provide helpful and informative coverage for everyday Nevadans.
Related Content