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Louisville advocates host training-series on identifying, preventing human trafficking

The training is supposed to help educate on how to spot human trafficking, show the importance of trauma-informed care and survivor engagement.
Credit: andrey_orlov - stock.adobe.com

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville advocates are inviting professionals and community leaders to attend a training series designed to fight human trafficking.

According to a press release, the Office for Women, the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness’ (LMPHW) Center for Health Equity, the Bakhita Empowerment Initiative of Catholic Charities and the Trauma Resilient Communities Project of the Office for Safe & Healthy Neighborhoods partnered together to host the training.

The training is supposed to help educate on how to spot human trafficking, show the importance of trauma-informed care and survivor engagement.

Rebecca Hollenbach, executive administrator at the Center for Health Equity (CHE) said human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states and is a public health concern.

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“Between 2013 and 2020, 222 child trafficking incidents were reported in Jefferson County, and around 1,400 incidents were reported in Kentucky," Hollenbach said.

A policy brief from the Center for Health Equity shows unhoused and runaway youth are most susceptible to trafficking.

An anti-trafficking group, Polaris, conducted a study that shows around two-thirds of trafficking survivors reported being homeless or experiencing unstable housing when they were recruited.

Gretchen Hunt, the executive administrator for the Office for Women, said this training is not really an intervention.

"For many years, a lot of the focus on anti-trafficking almost was deputizing, community leaders to kind of step in, and then more of a law enforcement role," she said. "What we have found over time, is that the interventions that work most effectively are those that meet people where they are, that give people back that agency to make choices about how to access services."

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Hunt added one of the things that people can do is support efforts that secure housing.

"Because a trafficker will come in and say, 'I'll promise you housing, I'll promise you a job.' And that's why trafficking occurs with such frequency is because people have deep needs, and traffickers come in and try to fill that need," she said.

Hunt explains that the reality of trafficking is it's based on exploiting people who are vulnerable. 

Part one of the training series is Sept. 27, the second part is Nov. 1 and the final training session is in March 2023.

The training series is free, but registration is required due to limited space. To register click here.  

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