January is Proclaimed Trafficking Awareness Month in the Northland
Minnesota ranks high in the human trafficking cases across the nation.
DULUTH, Minn.- Minnesota ranks high nationally in human trafficking cases making events like this community gathering important to build awareness.
The event began with a Red Shawl ceremony to honor victims and survivors of human trafficking.
It was followed by remarks from several local organizations that work to prevent trafficking in the Northland.
One big goal is informing and training the community about the signs when someone needs help.
“If we can inform people like health care providers, housing staff regular run of the mill citizens like you and I of the signs to look for we can actually interrupt the economy of sexual exploitation and trafficking,” said Kathy Herms of the Lutheran Social Service and the Duluth Trafficking Task Force.
Research shows that Native American women and girls are among the most targeted for sex trafficking due to limited resources.
Awareness is a top priority for the Fond Du Lac Police, but preventing trafficking in the Native American community is more difficult without help from other local organizations.
“We need to bring awareness to this subject because this is not something we can combat alone. If we worked alone with just our department, we would not have been able to get as far,” says Fond Du Lac Investigator Herb Fineday
For the entire month of January, events and trainings will be held to educate the community of the signs of human trafficking.
If you know of someone who is a victim of trafficking please reach out to the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault 24 hour hotline at 218–726–1931.
Also, for more information on about human trafficking in the Northland click here.