Communication Builds Our Community

Human Trafficking Program Happens Thursday

Locals Are Encouraged to Learn to Identify Signs of the Crime

The tragic reality of human trafficking is too often overlooked in our day to day lives. Could it be occurring unnoticed around you?

That is the question that will come to mind as you take part in a special program organized by the Lake Wales Care Center and a group of local organizations.

Local residents, especially owners of businesses located on major highways, may encounter unrecognized evidence of child trafficking. School social workers, law enforcement officers, fire rescue team members, counselors, youth workers, church staff, and community social workers are others who may benefit from training to quickly spot the tell-tale signs that someone may be held against their will, or utilized for sexual abuse.

The problem of human trafficking results in the abuse of uncounted thousands. Many are young women often trafficked to become virtual slaves far from their homelands. Abused and neglected, many are held against their will through threats, fear and intimidation, physical barriers, or inability to communicate in a foreign land. Significant numbers are victims or kidnapping or are recruited with false promises of productive work overseas. Some, regrettably, are children too young to realize what is happening to them.

Human trafficking has become the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world, and Florida ranks third in the United States for incidents, according to the organizers of the training class. Those attending will be taught to recognize and report evidence of the crime.

The special free program will take place Thursday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the First Baptist Church of Lake Wales and is being live-streamed for those who are unable to attend in person. Lunch is being provided for attendees. First Baptist Church is located at 338 East Central Avenue.

The program is a joint effort of the Lake Wales Care Center, Lake Wales Fire and Police Dapartments, One More Child, and a group of area church pastors.A reservation is not required but those interested are being encouraged to [email protected].


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