Anti-Human Trafficking Community Forum
The Anti-Human Trafficking Committee of Violence Prevention Grey Bruce has announced an information session and community forum for late March. The events will feature human trafficking experts and showcase the committee’s work to organize local responses to human trafficking in Grey and Bruce Counties.
Human trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation, harbouring and/or exercising control, direction or influence over the movements of a person in order to exploit that person, typically through sexual exploitation or forced labour. Many people who are trafficked don’t know that they are being exploited; they think that their trafficker is their boyfriend.
Beginning in 2018, Violence Prevention Grey Bruce received grant funding to create the first community committee focused on understanding and addressing human sex-trafficking inthe counties. Since then the committee has raised public awareness about the issue, developed asset maps of local services, and provided local service providers with the tools to recognize and respond to people who are experiencing trafficking. The grant ends on March 31st and the public events will showcase the community work to date.
On Thursday March 26th the committee will host a public event at the UNIFOR complex in Saugeen Shores at 6pm. The keynote speakers are two survivors of human trafficking who now work professionally to support victims.
“Raising awareness about this issue is the first step to preventing it”, said Anti-Human Trafficking Committee Coordinator Chelsea Donohue. “When we talk about human trafficking people get scared and think that this is a sad topic but we’ve chosen presenters who speak about hope and resilience for survivors.
The Thursday night community forum is free and open to the public. It will include presentations from the keynote speakers and information about local resources and opportunities to participate in human trafficking prevention in Grey Bruce. The Friday event is a free, full-day workshop for service providers to learn more about the issue and the tools available to address it in Grey and Bruce. Lunch will be provided.
“As service providers we need to understand trauma so that we can support hope and healing in the people we work with,” Donohue added. “Anyone who works with young people or more vulnerable members of our community will get something out of this event. Human trafficking can happen to anyone and young women are disproportionately the targets of traffickers. It doesn’t matter how much money your parents make or what school someone goes to; this could happen to anyone”.
Registration is required for the full day event. More information is available at www.vpgb.ca and the registration form can be found through that website, Public Health’s event listings, or Violence Prevention’s Facebook page.