There are several organizations – civic, secular, and faith-based – making a concerted effort to stop human trafficking in our region. There are legislative efforts on the national and state level to address this issue. Senate Bill 548 recently passed the NC state senate. It helps women access the resources needed to escape this life. The bill covers several areas, but one of the most helpful pieces provides funding to get the trafficking hotline number posted in NC rest areas along the interstates. Terry Van Duyn worked diligently to help pass the bill.
Louise Glickman, a founding member of Women for Women, a CFWNC initiative, helps spearhead efforts to fight human trafficking in our area. Women for Women is just one of the local organizations addressing this issue. The educational event they held triggered Senator Van Duyn's involvement. She reveals, "I was largely unaware that people were being exploited for sex and for labor right here in North Carolina until I went to a presentation hosted by Women for Women. I am so grateful to them, and for groups like the North Carolina Council for Women, for educating the rest of us. The more people are aware of the problem, the more victims will feel empowered to get the help they need."
Women for Women provided the grant funding for Our VOICE to hire an outreach coordinator, Katrina A., to help educate and inform the community, develop an action plan, and provide services for survivors. Katrina works diligently as the Project WEST NC Coordinator and provides workshops and seminars to organizations, educating them on human trafficking. She is currently forming a task force of first responders, faith leaders, and local citizens to strategize on ways to combat this growing problem. If interested in serving on this task force or having her speak at your organization, please contact Our VOICE at 828-252-0562.
Excerpt from WNC Woman magazine, August 2017. Click here to read the full article.