Sarah Bendtsen joined Shared Hope in 2016 to support the organization’s state legislative advocacy and Protected Innocence Challenge projects. Sarah focuses her advocacy efforts and research on strengthening states’ statutory and practice-based responses to child sex trafficking, striving to ensure that offenders face serious criminal accountability and youth survivors are afforded a specialized, protective response. Applying the PIC framework’s legal standards, Sarah provides technical assistance, subject matter expertise, and bill drafting support to state legislators, ally NGOs, and advocates.
Prior to joining Shared Hope, Sarah worked with several child protection and women’s rights NGOs in Kenya, Senegal, Zambia, and the U.S., advocating for stronger legal protections and responses for survivors of all forms of sexual and gender-based violence. Sarah earned her undergraduate degree from Webster University and her law degree from DePaul University College of Law.