#minorsextrafficking | January is human trafficking awareness month | Local News

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and The Northwest Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition (NWORRC), an anti-human trafficking coalition, will be having an online auction Jan. 27-30 to raise funds for survivors of human trafficking rescued and served by the organization.

The coalition is comprised of agencies from 16 counties in northwest, west central and southwest Ohio whose mission is to end sexual and labor trafficking by enhancing public education, survivor recovery and justice response. The coalition is currently serving survivors from Allen, Putnam, Williams, Fulton, Defiance, Henry, Paulding, Van Wert, Mercer, Auglaize, Darke, Shelby, Miami, Hancock, Hardin and Wyandot counties.

The statistics that surround human trafficking and its victims are sobering.

There are a three types of trafficking that victims could experience with the most prevalent being sex trafficking (73%) followed by forced labor (14%) and finally a combination of those two. Many people believe human trafficking is an international problem when the reality is that 80% of trafficking victims in 2011 were American citizens.

Nationally, Ohio ranks fourth in human trafficking incidences. In 2016, an estimated one out of six endangered runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely child sex trafficking victims and the average age of girls who are forced into sex trafficking is 12-17 years of age (statistics from Polaris and National Human Trafficking hotline).

For those who are rescued, therapeutic services, transportation, advocacy and housing are needed. All funds raised through the online auction will be utilized for crucial survivor relief.

“The online auction format gives people from all 16 counties we serve the opportunity to participate and assist our efforts in providing funds that are essential to survivor care,” stated Julie Schaufelberger, outreach coordinator for the YWCA of Van Wert County and current co-chair of the coalition.

A variety of items: gift cards and theme baskets will be available to the top bidder on the charity auctions website: https://www.charityauctionstoday.com/auctions/nworrc-benefit-auction-2022-29097. The website also allows contributors to make a flat donation with or without bidding on items and items are currently available for preview. Bidders are encouraged to check out the site and create their log in information for when bidding opens.

“Through the pandemic and beyond, trafficking survivors have continued to need and utilize our services. We are excited to have this fundraising option to provide continuity of services,” stated Brittany Reyes, Crime Victim Services Victim Advocate and co-chair of NWORRC.

The coalition is currently holding virtual meetings on the second Thursday of every month at 11:30 a.m. and all are welcome.

If you or your organization would like to be a part of the coalition, please contact Julie Schaufelberger (julies@ywcavanwwertcounty.org) for more information. Please follow the coalition’s Facebook page for the charity auctions link as well other information regarding human trafficking awareness and prevention.

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