Soroptimist International of Colfax sponsors Human Trafficking Awareness Walk

By: Staff report
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Soroptimist International has launched a major campaign to raise awareness of the devastating practices involved in human trafficking. In order to bring the campaign to the local level, the Colfax Soroptimist Club sponsored an Auburn Downtown walk and information presentation May 20.

A large assemblage of Lions, Soroptimists and interested community members were an eager audience for several organizations whose leaders shared details on the support they make available to trafficking survivors. “Opening Doors” provides safe spaces and business skills to enable trafficking survivors to receive the tools and support necessary to enter the world of work. “Three Strands” also provides opportunities for trafficking survivors to gain the skills needed to find sustainable employment. “Stand Up Placer” provides skills and education on how to stand up to domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.

Local FBI office staff provided information on how they coordinate interagency efforts with Placer County Sheriff’s Department as well as with all of Placer County’s police departments.

“Damsel in Defense” shared information on their training, education and equipment designed to empower women to be able to protect themselves and their families.

Sydney Rylaner read an original poem intended to dramatize the trapped feelings of a trafficked victim. The poem ended with, “Until she is free, neither are we.”

Event chair and Colfax Soroptimist Nikki Ahrens, billed the event as a “success because of all our community support organizations present and the great turn out of walkers.” Further, “Awareness is so important. If something does not look right, it probably is not. Contact local law enforcement as soon as possible,” Ahrens said.

To report suspected trafficking, call the 24-hour, toll-free hotline at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, 1-888-373-7888.