“Shine The Light: On Human Trafficking”
“Shine The Light on Human Trafficking” was a seminar on learning how to protect our youth. The seminar was presented by Jesup Rotary, Anchored Junior Board, The Lily & The Sparrow, and Safe Harbor. With more than 50 citizens and community partners in attendance, guests speakers shared the unfortunate reality of human trafficking in Wayne County and the concern of increase in cases, impacts on children and families, as well as how citizens and community partners can assist in change.
Dominque P. Farmer, with Safe Harbor, spoke about the facts of human trafficking; what it is, how to identify, and her involvement with such cases in her position at Safe Harbor. Farmer expressed, “If you do not take anything away from what I have shared this evening other than this, please, please simply monitor the apps and social media being used by the children in your home.” This same sentiment was echoed by the guest speakers that followed.
Yoshi Jones, the CEO and Executive Director of House of Hope (Brunswick, Ga), shared recent human trafficking statistics for Georgia and the coastal area as well as her experiences with providing a home for girls who have been a victim of human trafficking. At the House of Hope, Jones and her staff work with organizations like DFACS to provide safety, therapy, community, education, spiritual direction. To conclude her segment, Jones says, “There are cases where these girls are brought to us, and it’s too late…we do what we can but they still choose to stay ‘in the life.'”
The last speaker of the event was Hannah Evors. She currently works at Anchored in Wellness (Jesup and Blackshear) providing therapy services for individuals 12 years and older. Evors shared that her work with these types of cases mostly revolve around helping the client to understand that what has happened to them is not their fault. She also expressed that for many of these clients, the trafficking was initiated and carried forward by their caregivers (parents and other family members) therefore there is a great amount of therapy work surrounding realizing the client was groomed, gaining self worth, and finding a way to forgive and move forward with the necessary skills for trusting at the appropriate level.
To end the event, attendees were provided an opportunity to ask further questions and receive additional resources. [Resources tables were set up by: Anchored Junior Board, Wayne County Recovery Coalition, Safe Harbor, Wayne County Family Connection, The Lily & The Sparrow, and House of Hope.]
For more information on human trafficking, its impact on Wayne County, and how you can help or to get help, visit:
~Safe Harbor Children Advocacy Centers (https://safeharborcenterinc.org/childrens-advocacy-centers/)
~Anchored in Wellness (912.530.8889)
~House of Hope (https://www.houseofhopega.org/)