Washington (ANI): Actress Demi Moore is said to have taken her fight on sex trafficking to Washington D.C. after she and her husband Ashton Kutcher viewed footage on sex trade in Cambodia. Moore, 47, said she and Kutcher, 32, tried to educate themselves on the issue and as they did, "it was like opening Pandora's box", and they were shocked to learn just how much of a problem child sex trafficking is in the U.S.
"We had no idea the magnitude of the issue of modern day slavery and had absolutely no idea what was happening here in America," Politico News quoted her as saying. "The numbers were so overwhelming," she said. They decided to take the matter to the bigwigs, and on May 4, Moore travelled from New York to face her first big lobbying experience in Washington.
She met with lawmakers in both chambers, spoke at a forum, and huddled with White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and other top White House aides to talk about the issue. "Demi was very impressive," Jarrett said after the meeting with Moore and some actual victims of sex trafficking. I was very moved by the two young women who accompanied Demi. Their willingness to share their painful and deeply personal stories helped us all understand the atrocities so many young girls face on our streets every day," she stated.
Jarrett also said that she looked forward to continuing the conversation and visiting some of the victims in New York "so that we can better understand how we can help stop domestic human trafficking of girls".Moore, who admitted to being "a little nervous" on her maiden D.C. lobbying trip, said she knows she has "a long haul" ahead of her to raise people's awareness. "It's not a popular issue," she said. "There isn't anyone who disagrees that it's unacceptable [but] people don't treat it like a top priority. In general, it's like the dirty little secret," she stated.
At the forum, Moore sat alongside the sex trafficking survivors and talked about changing the "cultural stereotypes". "As a society we owe it to them to do everything we can to ensure that this doesn't happen to anyone else," she told a packed audience that included Rep. Chris Smith, Hill staffers and members of advocacy groups.
"We are focusing on the effect and not the cause. And we've bought into the myths, I think, collectively as a society that the girl is choosing it, she likes it, she's making a lot of money. And, I tell you, you go into a room of 13-year-old girls and ask them to raise their hands if they want to be a prostitute and then tell me if they're gonna choose it, and I guarantee you that none of them will be raising their hands," she told the crowd.