The problem of human trafficking is closer to home than people think. According to the FBI, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego are three of the nation’s thirteen High Intensity Child Exploitation areas. The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office reports that Santa Barbara County is a natural transit corridor for trafficking activities between those three large cities and the trafficking of minors is happening in every community.
To help combat this serious issue, Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services in collaboration with a wide variety of government and community agencies, is working together to educate the public about the issue of human trafficking among children. In addition, they are working to provide preventive education, case management and service planning for youth who are at risk in Santa Barbara County.
The Department of Social Services, in partnership with Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley and Our County. Our Kids is hosting kNOw MORE! on Nov. 7. This event will include a complimentary dinner and interactive dramatic performance with kNOw MORE!, a student-centered, drama-based human trafficking awareness and prevention curriculum to engage youth on this difficult but important topic.
“Human trafficking among youth in our community is a growing problem in Santa Barbara County,” said Gustavo Prado, Our County. Our Kids. Department Specialist at Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services. “Our hope is this event will educate our youth, their caregivers and the community in helping to combat an issue that affects everyone in Santa Barbara County.”
The goal of the event is to increase awareness to prevent youth from becoming victims and to empower those involved in exploitation to take necessary steps to seek healing and safety.
To RSVP for the event, please call: 805-346-7102.
Who: Youth ages 12-18, parents and caregivers
What: Event and complimentary dinner to educate the public and youth about human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children
When: Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Where: Santa Maria Radisson Hotel, 3455 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455
About Our County. Our Kids.
Our County. Our Kids., is a program of the Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services (SBC DSS). It is the SBC DSS resource family recruitment, retention, and support program. Visit www.ourcountyourkids.org/sbc for more information.
About kNOw MORE!
kNOw MORE! is a program of the Center for Justice & Reconciliation at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA and is funded by donations and grants. Community partners that are supporting the program are making it possible for us to reach the youth of our community. For more information about how to sponsor kNOw MORE!, please contact Kim Berry Jones at email@example.com or (619) 849-3224.
About Center for Justice & Reconciliation:
The Center for Justice & Reconciliation (CJR) at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA advocates for change around fair trade and worker rights, immigration and racial justice, and human trafficking through research, education, and advocacy. Our work includes student-led initiatives, nationally recognized research projects, community leadership, and educational outreach. The CJR launched the groundbreaking Beauty for Ashes Scholarship for survivors of human trafficking in 2014, developed kNOw MORE! to address the issue of sex trafficking recruitment in schools, and is a leading regional and national voice confronting human trafficking. Visit https://www.pointloma.edu/centers-institutes/center-justice-reconciliation for more information.
About Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley:
Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley was founded in 2003 by a coalition of concerned organizations and community members. It’s their Mission to partner with all members of the community to achieve resilience against substance use, reductions in violence and promote a healthy and safe environment for youth and families. Visit http://www.fbsmv.com/ for more information.