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Local Nonprofit Raises Awareness of Human Trafficking

Women's Crisis Support~Defensa de Mujeres, which has offices in Watsonville and Santa Cruz, is organizing a number of events in January.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and Women’s Crisis Support~Defensa de Mujeres is trying to raise awareness at the local level.

This Friday, the nonprofit – which works with Santa Cruz County and the Pajaro Valley – is hosting a “Unite and Wear White” campaign, encouraging people to don white clothes.

“On this day, we have a unique opportunity to show a united front that we are committed to being a light in the darkness for all those trapped in sex and labor trafficking,” the organization wrote in a press release. 

Take Back Our Streets 2013 will also be held on January 26 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The awareness walk will begin at Santa Cruz City Hall and Courtyard and end at the corner of Pacific and Church.

Between mid 2010 and mid 2012, 1,277 human trafficking victims were identified by California Task Forces, according to the California Office of the Attorney General. Seventy-two percent of victims whose country of origin was identified were from the United States.

The following is a list of additional events and ways to raise awareness contributed by Women's Crisis Support~Defensa de Mujeres.

Human Trafficking Awareness Movie Night - TBD  

In partnership with Twin Lakes Church & International Sanctuary, WCS-DdM will be showing "Sex + Money: A National Search for Human Worth" at Twin Lakes Church. A short panel discussion, will take place at the end of the film as well as a ballet & music performance. Everyone is welcome, regardless of religious denomination or beliefs. The only belief required to attend is that human trafficking is wrong! Admission is free and donations will be accepted (suggested $2 donation will go to help survivors of human trafficking, domestic and sexual violence).  

“Modern day Slavery has no place in Santa Cruz County” Display - ongoing

WCS-DdM has partnered with iSanctuary to build the iWalk exhibit which is a self guided tour about human trafficking. It is designed to be educational and introspective. The display will include information on Human Trafficking, WCS-DdM services, iSanctuary services and products, and a hand painted work of art by local artist Rachel Nigh.  Rachel has generously donated her time and talents to paint a three part piece that shows a survivors path from vulnerability to abuse and enslavement, rescue, and finally restoration. The iWalk exhibit will be in the corner windows of the Rittenhouse Building at the corner of Pacific Ave. and Church St. in downtown Santa Cruz throughout the month of January.

“I am not for sale” barcode stickers- ongoing

27 million people are enslaved worldwide. Every year 800,000 human beings are bought and sold as if they were a commodity.  The idea of the barcode is to remind ourselves and to teach others that people are not for sale. Men, women and children should never be bought or sold for the pleasure of another or for the personal gain of another human being.  We ask that stickers be worn throughout the month of January in support of Human trafficking awareness month to bring an END to HUMAN TRAFFICKING! 

Blue heart Campaign – ongoing

An awareness raising initiative to fight human trafficking and its impact on society.  The campaign seeks to encourage involvement and inspire action to help stop the crime.  By wearing the blue heart, it shows solidarity with the victims of human trafficking. The Blue Heart represents the sadness of those who are trafficked while reminding us of the Cold-heartedness of those who buy and sell fellow human beings. By “wearing” the Blue Heart you will raise awareness of human trafficking and join the campaign to fight this crime.

Kelly Kelly Joe Belly January 10, 2013 at 04:37 AM
Why doesn't the patch run a story about how the BBs take part? Perhaps because Jacob would get upset? We can't have that.
Freda of Freedom January 10, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Yes, I have noticed at every comment to Jacobs articles goes through a 'aproval pending' screening process now. I guess he's afraid of someone telling the truth about him.
Jacob Bourne (Editor) January 10, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Kelly and Freda, again, I did not write this article. Not sure what you think the "truth" about me is, other than that Patch does not allow racist, profane or inappropriate comments.

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