Hello community members!
We are excited to be starting off 2018 with a brand new blog post that we hope will help bring our community awareness and knowledge.
We understand that the content of this post may be triggering for some. Please know that if you or someone you know would like to speak with a Crime Victim Advocate, we are available Monday – Friday from 9am to 5pm at 360-703-3762.
January marks the beginning of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Initially issued by President Barak Obama in 2011, this month is designed to create awareness and support for victims and survivors of Human Trafficking and modern day slavery.
According to Washington State Law, Human Trafficking is defined by two definitions.
Labor trafficking: A person is guilty of trafficking in the first degree when such person recruits, harbors, transports, transfers, provides, obtains, buys, purchases or receives by any means another person knowing, or in reckless disregard of the fact, (A) that force, fraud, or coercion as defined in RCW 9A.36.070 will be used to cause the person to engage in: forced labor; involuntary servitude.
Sex trafficking: The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion or that the person has not attained the age of eighteen years and is caused to engage in a sexually explicit act or a commercial sex act.
Many victims include, but are not limited to: children, teens, and adults who are facing homelessness, LGBTQ youth, those fleeing violent relationships, those needing to support their families, those who have faced trauma, and individuals who may not hold legal residency in the United States. However, anyone of any race, gender or social class can be a victim of trafficking.
While it is hard to know what to do when you identify someone as a victim of human trafficking, there are resources in Washington state that can help.
Below are state resources available to help victims of trafficking.
National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline
Washington State Crime Victim Service Center Hotline
If you know of someone being victimized in Cowlitz County, the Emergency Support Shelter can also provide free and confidential advocacy and can be reached at 360-703-3762.
Please feel free to share this information with anyone in our community.
Knowledge can save lives.