November 08, 2013

This week on To The Contrary, our panelists discuss how to stop sex trafficking; why women still sign up for the military despite the risk of rape; and Sen. Gillibrand's FAMILY Act, which promises to reward working families through a paid leave program.

On the panel this week: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Women’s Campaign Fund CEO Siobhan”Sam” Bennett, Independent Women’s Forum Executive Director Sabrina Schaeffer, and Republican Strategist Rina Shah.

Click read more to see what they had to say!

Sex Trafficking

  • Del. Norton: "Most modern-day slaves are children, girls, or very young women assumed to be complicit with prostitution or with the very trafficking that is occurring."
  • Rina Shah: "I think it’s going to take elected officials to raise the voices of these victims."
  • Sam Bennett: "It’s hard to detect.  It’s hard to know what’s going on...and your average American has absolutely no idea how prevalent this is."
  • Sabrina Schaeffer: "There’s no single silver bullet to fixing the problem."

Women Recruits


  • Sabrina Schaeffer: “[Rape in the military] may not be entirely fixable. I don’t think you have to take women out of combat, but I think women have to give it some serious thought”
  • Delegate Eleanor Homes Norton: "The best defense may be an offense. Do your normal recruiting and say by the way you may have heard ... that as in civilian life, there is rape. The difference is we're the military, and it's easier to take care of that in the military."
  • Sam Bennett: "We as women sadly expect nonsense to happen... One would hope and assume that the military would be a more safe and controlled environment than other places women go."
  • Rina Shah: "Women are still signing up for the military because they realize that even in civilian life, they’re not 100% safe there."


Sen. Gillibrand's FAMILY Act
  • Sabrina Schaeffer: "I don’t think that the FAMILY act is the answer. The better response would come from businesses and individuals."
  • Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton on why The FAMILY act is important:  "every individual who works will one day need to take time off, either for themselves or for family members."
  • Rina Shah is concerned about the cost of The FAMILY Act, and says that "small businesses are not helped by FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) currently."
  • Sam Bennett says: "we have the worst track record of any of the developed nations in the world, where paid leave is assumed."

Be sure to tune in this week for more discussion! Click here to check your local listings.