COLUMBUS – A free Human Trafficking Community Awareness training will be offered from 7-8:45 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 for at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center, hosted by local businesswoman Caitlin Miller.
Ohio is the fourth worst state in the country for human trafficking, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that American demand for sex is at the heart of the human trafficking trade when he said, “The United States is the number one consumer of sex worldwide. So we are driving the demand as a society.”
At a state level, legislative efforts are being made to abolish human trafficking.
Powell has this to say about the issue, “We must make a strong stance against human trafficking and the sexual mistreatment of our fellow human beings whether they be women, men, or children. Families, churches, and businesses on a local level must come together to confront the proliferation of pornography and human trafficking in our culture.”
At a local level, communities are affected every day by this disregard for human dignity. Local business owner, Caitlin Miller of Miller’s Flowers, has seen the devastating effects of human trafficking while volunteering throughout the community. Through awareness and volunteering with Gracehaven, SOAP, and Oasis House Strip Club Outreach Ministry, she has seen the impact it has made in anti-human trafficking efforts locally.
“It’s not enough to be just be aware. Awareness must lead to action,” Miller said.
Speakers for the event include Tonya Folks, a co-founder of a National Anti-Sex Trafficking organization, owner of Human Trafficking Essentials LLC, and a human trafficking liaison for the Montgomery County Sheriff. She will speak on labor and sex trafficking both locally and nationally.
Participants will learn about the misconceptions, identifying sex/labor trafficking victims, and our response as a community. Powell will give an update from the Statehouse to the community on pornography, sex trafficking, and the childhood abuse crisis. Following the training, organizers will feature a panel of local abolitionists with a discussion on getting involved locally.
*We highly recommend this event to cosmetologists, medical personnel, nurses, hospital staff, police officers, parents, hotel staff, teachers, service industry, pastors, elected officials, CASA volunteers, social workers, and the community,” Powell said.