January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Here are 5 ways you can get involved, spread awareness, and support survivors.
By Erika Ritchie
Across Wisconsin an unknown number of children, teens and adults are being sex trafficked because of manipulation, fraud, or force. It’s a problem that is hard to track and often harder to see.
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were at least 105 cases of sex trafficking reported in Wisconsin in 2018. Over the past three years, the Sexual Assault Center of Family Services has helped more than 60 sex trafficking survivors who were being trafficked to or from Northeast Wisconsin.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Below are 5 ways you can get involved, show your support for survivors, and educate others:
1. Color for a Cause
Add a pop of blue to your hair to spread awareness of human trafficking wherever you go! Throughout January, you can get a blue hair extension for $15 from any one of the salons below. Proceeds will be donated to the Sexual Assault Center, allowing you to make a real difference for sex trafficking survivors in addition to spreading awareness! Please call ahead to make an appointment.
2. Wear Blue
January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. You can help raise awareness of human trafficking by taking photos of yourself, your friends, your family, or your colleagues on January 11th wearing blue clothing. Be sure to share your photos on social media with the #WearBlueDay hashtag. Anyone can participate, all you need is a piece of blue clothing!
3. Shine a Light
Join with advocates, organizations, and fellow community members for a candelight vigil the evening of January 11th in recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Hear from a survivor of human trafficking, get a blue hair extension (if you haven’t already!) and ask questions to a panel of local experts who work to combat human trafficking in our area. The event will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Resurrection Parish in Green Bay.
4. Spread the Word
One of the easiest ways to help us spread awareness of human trafficking is by following us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and inviting your friends to do the same! Help our messages reach even more people by liking, sharing, and commenting on our posts, photos, and videos. If you get a blue hair extension, participate in Wear Blue Day, or attend the candelight vigil, be sure to share your photos with us using the hashtags #humantraffickingawareness, #wearbluecampaign, and #protecthealcare.
You can help fight sex trafficking year round as a volunteer advocate with the Sexual Assault Center in Brown or Door Counties. As a volunteer, you’ll help maintain coverage of our 24/7 hotline. You’ll also help victims of sexual assault and sex trafficking feel supported and believed during what is often a confusing and traumatic time in the person’s life. Volunteers set their own schedule and are asked to cover three shifts per month. No experience necessary and training is provided.
The Sexual Assault Center of Family Services provides to survivors of sexual assault and their loved ones. These services are available to survivors in Brown, Door, Oconto and Marinette Counties.