|July 14, 2005|
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) has arranged for a 19-year-old Moldovan girl who was a victim of sex trafficking to be flown from Moldova to Texas this Saturday for medical treatment.
Granger recently traveled on a fact-finding delegation to Albania, Moldova, Italy and Greece where she was briefed on the growing epidemic of sex trafficking among women and children. Trafficking in persons is modern day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded, or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation.
While in Moldova, Granger met this young woman who had been abducted while working in a Turkish marketplace and sold into sex slavery. After a period of time, the girl escaped from the building where she was being held hostage by climbing out a 7th story window. She lost her grip on the sixth story balcony and fell to the street. Turkish authorities found the girl with a broken back and numerous other health problems and admitted her to a hospital in Turkey.
Currently, the girl is paralyzed and needs spinal surgery. Attempting the type of surgery she needs at the severely inadequate medical facility in Moldova is the equivalent of a death sentence.
Moved by the girl’s story, Granger contacted the Texas Back Institute (TBI), the largest spine specialty clinic in the United States, in Plano, Texas. The physicians at TBI agreed to take on the case free of charge.
The girl, whose name must be concealed for privacy purposes, will be arriving this Saturday in Texas where she will be immediately taken to TBI. At TBI, specialists will assess her medical needs and determine the best course of medical treatment.
With good medical attention, there is hope that the girl will be able to walk and lead a healthy, normal life.
Sex Trafficking is among the fastest growing criminal activity, occurring both worldwide and in individual countries. Annually, at least 600,000 - 800,000 people, mostly women and children, are trafficked across borders worldwide. Roughly 75 percent of all victims of human trafficking are trafficked for sexual exploitation. Albania and Moldova are source countries for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor, mostly to Greece and Italy, and to a lesser extent, the United Kingdom, France and The Netherlands.
Granger serves on the Appropriations Committee and the powerful defense appropriations subcommittee. She also serves as a majority whip. Granger is the first and only female Republican to serve in the Texas House delegation. Granger represents the 12th District of Texas and is currently serving in her fifth term in Congress.