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Human Trafficking EXPO in Denton County

"Human trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transporting, or procurement of a person for labor or services for the purpose of involuntary servitude, slavery, or forced commercial sex acts, or simply put, trafficking is modern-day slavery."

 

January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and in support of this effort, the Denton County Human Trafficking Coalition (DCHTC) is hosting an EXPO! Anyone who is interested in learning more about human trafficking prevention is invited to join us this Saturday, January 14, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at Serve Denton.

The main purpose of the event is to bring together agencies, organizations and ministries under one roof to spread awareness about trafficking and domestic/child abuse.

There will be two speakers from Homeland Security Investigations as well as people attending from Cooks Children's Medical Center and the local school districts. Nationally-recognized speaker, Ashleigh Chapman, founder of the Alliance for Freedom, Restoration and Justice, Inc. and the Engage Together Initiative will be the keynote speaker. More than twenty community organizations will be present, and you can come alongside these agencies to help end human exploitation in Denton County.

Did you know that Texas is at the heart of human trafficking in the United States?

Texas has the second highest number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Resources Center in the nation. You know what's even more heartbreaking? The North Texas area is second in the nation for the number of trafficking victims reported. These statistics are the reason over fifteen organizations joined together to create the DCHTC and why this EXPO is taking place.

This Tuesday, January 10, at 6:30 p.m., Mayor Chris Watts will proclaim Saturday, January 14, 2017, Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the City of Denton. The coalition would like to invite you to attend this proclamation to stand before the council as this proclamation is being read.

DCHTC Chair Carrie Powell says, "This is a huge step for our fight to eradicate trafficking in our county."

Serve Denton, 5 Star Rental, Legacy Church-Argyle and Denton Jazzercise are coming alongside the Denton County Human Trafficking Coalition to sponsor this event. For more information about the coalition, contact DCHTC Chair Carrie Powell at cpowell@dentonbible.org or like the DCHTC Facebook Page by clicking HERE.

 

Denton County Human Trafficking Coalition EXPO

Date: Saturday, January 14, 2017
Time: 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Place: Serve Denton, 1980 E. University Dr., Denton, TX 76209
Price: FREE

 

If you would like to sign up to attend the event, click the button below. You can be a part of the first community event in Denton County that is helping fight against human trafficking!

Does Human Trafficking Happen in Denton?

Human Trafficking in Denton

When you think of human trafficking, you probably think of a few different things. The first could be history—you know that the buying and selling of humans has happened since—well, since always.

But you may not think it happens so much now, and where you believe it does happen is influenced by the second thing that comes to mind when you think of trafficking: Hollywood.

Movies like Taken brought a very specific, problematic kind of trafficking to light, which focuses most Americans’ attention to trafficking overseas. What you’re unlikely to think of is North Texas. You’re unlikely to think of people living in places like Southlake and Denton being trafficked, but the reality is this: it does happen here, and it happens often.

Vision Gets Involved

That’s why Vision Ministries has decided to host Human Trafficking 101: Our Children at Risk. We sat down with Carrie Powell, Women’s Coordinator at Vision Ministries, to talk about this community awareness event to understand more about what folks in Denton can get out of attending this seminar series.

What’s important to know, first and foremost, is Vision Ministries is not an organization that combats human trafficking directly. Vision Ministries is an outreach of Denton Bible Church that helps people get on their feet and get connected to the church and a faith community through programming and providing food, clothing, and other essentials.

As Carrie puts it, Vision is a “comfortable place” that the community relies on. They serve a diverse group of clientele and work with a faithful core of volunteers. They are eyes in the community, and what they see is a growing human trafficking problem.

Responding to a Crisis

In response to this, they’ve decided to jump into the fight against human trafficking. One way is through participation in the Denton County Human Trafficking Coalition, hosted and facilitated by Serve Denton. The coalition is a space where agencies that serve possible victims of human trafficking can come together to learn more about the issue and work collaboratively to stop trafficking in Denton County and surrounding areas.

Human Trafficking 101 is one of the efforts being made collaboratively to educate the community about what’s going on in Denton County. Over the course of four sessions, different agencies in North Texas that combat human trafficking in a variety of ways will present the community at large with information about how to recognize and report human trafficking as well as how to get involved as volunteers.

Carrie says they decided to hold the event because Vision is committed to taking ownership of Denton’s problems. “I’ve lived in Denton for 20 years. I feel like this is my town,” she says. According to her, initiatives like Human Trafficking 101 create the kind of awareness that “takes idleness and turns it into action.”

Taking Action

And there is a lot of action to be taken. North Texas is home to a growing number of agencies related to human trafficking and are always in search of new volunteers for a wide variety of needs; anything from writing to women who live in shelters to renovating group homes to participating on intel teams that use social media to find potential trafficking victims and perpetrators.

Human Trafficking 101 will take place over the course of four nights from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Denton Bible Church, located at 2300 E. University Drive Denton, TX:

• September 8 - Traffick911 • September 15 - 4the ONE • September 22 - Poiema Foundation • September 29 - Refuge for Women

To learn more about the Denton County Human Trafficking Coalition, please email Katelynn Blasavage at kblasavage@servedenton.org.