About Me

  Patricia Hammell Kashtock

Aka: Pat Kashtock. Mother of three, wife of one. BA in Social Work and Biblical Studies. Graduate work at Virginia Tech interrupted, then derailed by oldest child’s brain tumor...

My life has not followed the course I planned. But I am not complaining. Pain is to be expected in a world broken apart from its Creator.

The miracle resides in the ability to find joy when least expected...

 

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Windows to the Woman’s Soul (W2WSoul)
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Blessings,

Pat

For What It's Worth

Each life is a journey. The voices of many guides try to direct us, saying, “This is the path – walk in it!” Yet each one leads in a different direction.

I believe only one Voice can be true. That Voice will lead us in ways most unexpected, into worlds yet undiscovered. It will lead us up the hill, around the river and through the forest. And sometimes, it will lead without mercy.

Or so it seems.

I have made listening for that Voice and following it, my life’s quest. I will share some of what I have heard that Voice say with you. But I am not in the business of telling people how to think or what to believe. Each has to decide for himself. Only you can decide if you find the truth of the Voice in these words. And only you can decide how much it is worth to know the Voice, and follow.

But for me, it is worth the whole world.

And then some…

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Wednesday
Feb032010

Virginia and Alabama Voting on Anti-trafficking Bills Today. Please call your delegate

Virginia anti-trafficking bill in subcommittee today. Alabama and PA also have bills up. Also actions for DC and MD. Please contact your delegates if you live in any of these states. Information on the bills and other actions at the link below.


Thanks goes to Polaris Project for the heads up on today's VA bill.

From the Polaris Project's Action page:

Virginia:  Legislation requiring the forfeiture of vehicles used in human trafficking moves to the House Courts of Justice Committee – Criminal Subcommittee today, February 3rd. Your support is needed! 

(February 2, 2010)

Human trafficking generates over $36 billion in profits annually.  Significantly raising the financial risk to traffickers reduces the incentive to commit human trafficking.  High criminal penalties for human trafficking, including incarceration and fines, are a good start.  However, requiring mandatory asset forfeiture that applies broadly to all assets connected to the criminal activity and to all ill-gotten gains will create an even greater deterrent.  Through asset forfeiture, the criminal is penalized, a financial incentive is created for law enforcement agencies, and additional assistance can be provided to victims.  

House Bill 1113 would permit the forfeiture of a vehicle used in the crime of abduction -- which covers human trafficking activities in Virginia -- and other human trafficking offenses including those penalizing the prostituting of minors.   

This critical legislation was introduced by Delegate Adam Ebbin in the House of Delegates on January 13, 2010, and is now under consideration in the House Courts of Justice Committee – Criminal Subcommittee.  Please take action to ensure thatHouse Bill 1113 advances!

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Virginia State Delegates need to hear that the financial risk for traffickers and those that create the enabling environment for human trafficking must be increased, and Virginia can do this by passing House Bill 1113.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

February 1, 2010

Profit motivates sex traffickers, and that profit is derived from one source: the purchasers of sex, colloquially known as “johns”.  Without johns’ demand, there would be no prostitution, which is an enabling environment for sex trafficking.  Unscrupulous sex traffickers are willing to force and coerce women and even to manipulate children into generating these profits, as long as the demand is there.  Therefore, by decreasing the demand for prostitution through offender education programs, also called john schools, sex trafficking correspondingly will decrease.  

House Bill 701 is legislation that requires the court to condition any sentence, fine, or suspended sentence for a first offense of solicitation (i.e., purchasing commercial sex) on participation in an offender education program, also called a john school, if such program has been established locally.  The cost of the program will be paid by the defendant and will be in addition to any fines the court orders the defendant to pay, so it will cost the state nothing to implement this legislation.


This critical legislation was introduced by Delegate David Bulova in the House of Delegates on January 13, 2010, and is now under consideration in the House Courts of Justice Committee – Criminal Subcommittee.  Please take action to ensure that House Bill 701 advances!

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Virginia State Delegates need to hear that the demand for commercial sex must be reduced, and Virginia can make a step in the right direction by passing House Bill 701.

If you live in Virginia, you can find out who your delegate is and how to contact them here.

Alabama also votes today:

Alabama:  Comprehensive Anti-Human Trafficking Legislation Being Heard in the House Judiciary Committee Today- February 3, 2010

February 2, 2010 

Alabama is one of only a few states with no law against human trafficking!  Forty-four other states have passed human trafficking laws.  There is a groundswell of support for ending human trafficking in the United States, as demonstrated by the passage of anti-human trafficking laws in 44 states and by Congress’ nearly unanimous reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in 2008.  But more must be done.  Due to the clandestine nature of human trafficking, the physical and psychological trauma of victims that make many reluctant to testify, and the inability of federal law enforcement to investigate every case, comprehensive laws are needed in every state.

House Bill 432
 would create new human trafficking crimes and penalties; provide for mandatory restitution to victims; provide a civil cause of action for victims; provide for asset forfeiture and seizure; and create other protections for victims of human trafficking. 

This critical legislation was introduced by Representative Jack Williams  and is now under consideration in the House Judiciary Committee.  Please take action to ensure that House Bill 432 advances!

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Alabama State Representatives need to hear that it is critical that Alabama pass comprehensive anti-human trafficking legislation that would add Alabama to the 44 states that have already passed anti-human trafficking laws, and Alabama can take this step by passing House Bill 432.
1. The most effective action you can take, next to meeting with your State Representative face-to-face, is to make a quick phone call and urge him or her to vote YES on House Bill 432.  (While members of the House Judiciary Committeewill be voting on the bill first, it helps for all Representatives to hear from you.)
2. You can look-up your State Representative here and then make a 30-second phone call urging him or her to vote yes on House Bill 432 – legislation that provides a comprehensive approach to combating human trafficking in Alabama. When you call, you can simply say:
“Hi, my name is [Name], and I am a constituent of the Representative's.  I am calling to urge him/her to vote YES on House Bill 432.  This bill will empower law enforcement, human trafficking victim service providers, and Alabama communities to identify and respond to human trafficking by forcefully targeting the criminal activity and will empower survivors by providing them with critical protection .  Can I count on his/her support?”  
3. If you have another moment, please send your State Representative a short email as a follow-up. 

 If you live in Alabama, you can look up your legislators here

For actions in other states, please see the Polaris Action Center here.

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