When people hear the term “sex trafficking,” most envision streetwalkers soliciting on littered sidewalks in major metropolitan areas.
But few people are aware sex trafficking existing in less-populated, rural areas as well.
That’s why an eastern Oregon group known as the Tri-County Human Trafficking Task Force, a consortium of citizens and law enforcement personnel, has organized a sex trafficking community awareness training seminar next month.
The event is scheduled to be held Thursday, March 24, at the Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario, Oregon.
“We were shocked to learn the extent of human trafficking in the eastern Oregon and southwest Idaho area,” said Project Dove Executive Director Susan Johnson, who is organizing the event. Project Dove is a domestic violence shelter in Ontario.
“Oftentimes, people don’t even know it’s going on their community. That’s why we’re hoping this training will help the public learn more about the dynamics of human trafficking, the signs of look for, and what people can do if they suspect human trafficking is occurring in their neighborhood,” she explained.
Organizers say this is the first training of its kind to be held in the eastern Oregon/southwest Idaho area.
The training is open to the public.
Speakers will include FBI Victims Specialist Erin Ludwig and Department of Justice Invention Coordinator Amanda Swanson.
Two training sessions have been scheduled. The afternoon session runs from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; the evening session runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
“We scheduled two sessions so that, if someone is unable to attend one, they may be able to attend the other,” Johnson stated.
Those interested in attending the training can register by e-mailing Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 541-889-6316.