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A Night for Freedom: raising awareness for sex trafficking

More than 1,000 young people in Ohio, some under the age of 12, are victims of sex trafficking each year. Toledo ranks 4th in the United States, among those with Innocence Lost Task Forces, in terms of number of arrests, investigations and rescue of domestic minor sex trafficking victims.

A Night for Freedom feature a sex trafficking survivor sharing her story alongside other guests discussing the importance of education and awareness on Tuesday, May 20 at 7 p.m.

The free, public event will be held at the Maumee Indoor Theater located at 601 Conant Street.

There is no cost to attend, but donations will be collected to complete the filming of “Shadow on the Heartland,” a documentary about the increasing problem of sex trafficking in Ohio. Donations will help cover production costs and the distribution of copies of the film to every school in Ohio, about 5,000 total.

“It’s time for Ohio, and particularly Toledo, to move forward in getting the schools educated on human trafficking,” said Dr. Celia Williamson, professor of social work for The University of Toledo, nationally known expert on sex trafficking and guest speaker for A Night for Freedom. “Protecting our kids and ensuring they have a future filled with freedom and opportunity is our most important concern. We are asking that all school personnel become educated and develop a protocol for identifying and reporting suspected trafficking.”

The goals of A Night for Freedom and “Shadow on the Heartland” include educating parents on how to protect their children from becoming victims of sexual trafficking; making teenagers aware of how easily they can be coerced and controlled by traffickers; touching hearts as victims and survivors share their painful experiences in the sex trade, in which they were forced to work; inspiring viewers as they see how a united effort by law enforcement, government leaders, the legal system, social agencies and faith-based organizations has brought justice to those who engage in sexual trafficking while helping survivors build new lives.

Click here to view a snippet about “Shadow on the Heartland.”

Media Coverage
The Blade (May 19, 2014)
The Blade (May 20, 2014)

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