Slavery in the High Desert

first_imgSlavery in the High Desert On Tuesday, October 14, Central Oregon Oregonians Against Trafficking Humans (COOATH) will hold a powerfully informative community awareness event entitled Slavery in the High Desert. The event, led by the author of In Our Backyard and COOATH Regional Director, Nita Belles, will be held at the Bend, Oregon Community Center from 6:30-8pm. Five panel members will discuss the current status of human trafficking in Central Oregon and its implications to the community.Panel members are:● Laurie Bisby – Shelter Manager, Saving Grace● Erin Ludwig – Victims Services, FBI● Brigid Turner, Assistant District Attorney, Deschutes County● Sgt. Aaron Wells, Redmond Police Department● Rozlind Saumalu, Survivor and Case Manager, Streetlight, Phoenix, AZIf you or your organization are interested in attending, visit our website at Space is limited so early registration is encouraged. A freewill donation will be accepted to offset event expenses.COOATH is dedicated to raising the awareness of and opposition to human trafficking in Central Oregon. As the second largest and fastest growing crime on the planet, it is no surprise it happens here on the high desert.“We often hear of human trafficking in big cities but what we don’t hear is that right here in Central Oregon we have seen evidence of many kinds of human trafficking. We are working hard to help our community recognize the signs of human trafficking and report suspicious activities which could be trafficking,” says Belles.Statistics show that one out of every three runaway teens will be lured towards sex trafficking within 48 hours of running away. The National Human Trafficking Resource Center reported that Oregon ranked 21st in call volume of all 50 states and Washington D.C. in 2013.Since its inception in September 2009, COOATH has made presentations to more than 2000 people. Venues have included governmental agencies, churches, social service organizations, law enforcement, and concerned citizens. However, the demand for human trafficking information is still resounding.COOATH promotes public awareness, provides training and education, coordinates victim resources as well as assists in the aggressive prosecution of human traffickers within the state of Oregon. For more information visit: Tumblr on October 2, 2014 0 Facebook By CBN Twitterlast_img read more