The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

September 28, 2013

Reader's Letter: Human trafficking is happening


The Clinton Herald

---- — I recently had the opportunity to once again listen to Special Agent Holly Witt and Sgt. Lance Miller talk on human trafficking in our state.

The First Methodist Church in Clinton presented this workshop on Sept. 25 so that we might all be educated and bring awareness of human trafficking in our area. Through education we can learn to work together and keep our children safe from predators.

It was exciting to see many of our police officers, sheriff deputies, and agency workers present. It is important to get our schools on board with this important issue also.

Well some of you might say, well no this is not happening in the USA, let alone in Iowa but the fact is...that it is happening in our state and our town. Iowa just happens to be the Midwest hub from Milwaukee, Omaha and Chicago and beyond.

If you want more information regarding human trafficking, a great resource is the polarisproject.com. Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. As defined under U.S. federal law, victims of human trafficking include children involved in the sex trade, adults age 18 or over who are coerced or deceived into commercial sex acts.

Human trafficking is fueled by demand. This commodity of sex trade is overtaking the drug trade because the commodity can be used over and over again.

We know that a huge need for the victims of human trafficking is resources to help women. Shelters and services to help them, when you have been stripped to nothing, no drivers license, no money, no phone, and no place go. Where do they go?

Some of these vulnerable young girls are “throw aways,” not even reported as a run away. As a community we are hoping that our newly formed coalition to help women and children can coordinate with other businesses to address this serious issue.

We currently are working with the Sisters of St Francis Center for active, non-violence and peace making. Lori Freudenberg is their co-coordinator. There are too many names to mention but if you are interested in knowing more, helping, or having someone speak to your group, please feel free to contact me.

If I don’t know I will contact someone who does. Together we can make a difference, if we can save one girl, that is a huge difference to that girl.

So we must educate, motivate and activate

Merlyn Law,

Clinton

Co-chairwoman for human trafficking