Lifestyle

Bremerton event takes aim at human trafficking

Bremerton — Soroptimist International of Greater Bremerton Area is collaborating with several local organizations to conduct a week of human trafficking awareness activities in Kitsap County. The event, called Break Free Kitsap, will take place Jan. 23-29.

“We are excited to be spearheading this effort with Scarlet Road and Not For Sale Kitsap to help raise awareness about human trafficking,” Bremerton Soroptimist president-elect Jessica Guidry said.

Human trafficking, the exploitation of individuals for profit in industries such as agriculture and prostitution, is not just a problem outside the United States. According to the U.S. State Department, “the United States is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor, debt bondage, document servitude, and sex trafficking.” A 2004 report by the state Office of Crime Victims Advocacy states that providers in at least 18 Washington counties reported some level of trafficking activity.

The week-long event will consist of a number of activities, including a training on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children for law enforcement and social service providers; documentary screenings, seminars and presentations; a community discussion on human trafficking with panelists from the Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network, Bremerton Police Department, and Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office; and a concert at Coffee Oasis.

Events and activities will be posted on Break Free Kitsap’s Facebook page and at http://breakfreekitsap.wordpress.com.

Also joining this collaborative effort are Peninsula Lighthouse Ministries, Soroptimist chapters in North Kitsap and Port Orchard, North Kitsap Optimist Club, Coffee Oasis, Olympic College, and BKAT.

To be a part of Break Free Kitsap or for more information, email breakfreekitsap@gmail.com or call (360) 930-2193. Soroptimist International of Greater Bremerton Area was chartered in 1944. It is an organization of business and professional women working to improve the lives of women and girls in the Bremerton and Central Kitsap communities.

For more information about the anti-trafficking initiative, visit www.bremertonsoroptimist.org/humantrafficking.html, email info@bremertonsoroptimist.org, or call Guidry at (360) 930-2193.

 

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