OLYMPIA, Wash. The upcoming Vancouver Olympics will bring thousands of athletes and visitors to Canada. The games will attract another, less desirable crowd -sex workers.
Hundreds of prostitutes and pimps are expected to cross the border into Canada from I-5 in Western Washington.
Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Ballard,is sponsoring legislation to give those considered sex slaves a chance to get help while on the road.
Kohl-Welles wants the Department of Transportation to put up signs in the restrooms of the state's rest stops to help raise awareness about the sex trafficking trade.
The signs have a hot-line number and encourage victims or those who think they may know a victim to call for help.
If good people know, they intervene. If good people know, policy makers make law changes, said former Congresswoman Linda Smith, who founded Shared Hope International, an organization fighting sex trafficking.
Smith said while most people associate sex slaves with immigrants, 90 percent of trafficking victims are born in the United States.
An 18-year-old from Southwest Washington said she was nearly one of the victims.
Brianna only gave state senators her first name while she testified in favor of the bill.
I made a decision that could have cost me my freedom and potentially my life, said Brianna.
Brianna told lawmakers two men coerced her into working as a stripper in Seattle. She said they tried to talk her into being a prostitute.
She testified that a friend helped her escape.
I had no idea that I was in danger, she said.