Human trafficking prevention focus of Vandalia school event tonight

Vandalia-Butler City Schools will host a Human Trafficking Awareness Event tonight that will give residents tips about what to watch for in the area.

“With our proximity to the Crossroads of I-75 and I-70, and with our collaboration with the Sheriff’s Office, we feel it is important to offer this opportunity to our community in hopes to provide information that could possibly prevent or save a person from becoming a victim,” said Superintendent Rob O’Leary.

The top three types of human trafficking are sex trafficking, sex and labor trafficking, and labor trafficking. Most trafficking victims are female.

The homeless, runaways, drug addicts, and the poor often are targets of traffickers, as are immigrants and those with mental health issues.

“Human trafficking uses force, fraud and/or coercion to control someone for financial gain,” Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Human Trafficking Liaison Tonya Folks said. “It is a grave human rights abuse and public safety issue.”

“Human trafficking promotes the breakdown of families and communities, fuels organized crime, undermines public health, and imposes large economic costs,” she said.

State and federal governments have established policies and legislation to help minimize and prevent human trafficking and to prosecute those who do it.

“With increased attention by media and social media to human and sex trafficking, we feel it’s important to provide parents and our community with information and awareness of this current issue that could affect the safety of our youth,” said Butler High School Principle Tom Luebbe.

This event will be held at Butler High School on S. Dixie Drive in the Butler Performing Arts Theater from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is presented by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

This event is open to the public, and the school district recommends that children not attend.

For more information on the human trafficking problem in the U.S., visit the Department of Homeland Security's website for the Blue Campaign, which strives to protect the basic right of freedom and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice, according to its website.

For more information about the event, contact Folks at 937-287-6170, visit Vandalia-Butler's website or contact Communications and Public Relations Coordinator Anaka Johnson.

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