A virtual symposium on human trafficking and healthy relationships will be held Saturday.
Organized by Brantford police, the Young Women Unite symposium is open to girls and women, aged 13 to 19, who reside in Brantford, Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties, Six Nations of the Grand River and and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. It will feature speakers from Nova Vita Domestic Violence Prevention Services, Brant County Health Unit, Victim Services of Brant and Six Nations and Brantford police.
“Knowledge is power and this is an opportunity to learn what sex trafficking is, why and how it happens and where to go for help,” said Brantford police spokesperson Robin Matthews-Osmond. “This will help young women learn how to identify the signs and behaviours associated with sex trafficking.”
She noted that Indigenous women and girls are especially vulnerable to being targeted by sex traffickers.
All the speakers are experienced in working with victims and survivors of sex trafficking.
“This symposium will give young women a better understanding about who is at risk, how traffickers recruit and exploit victims and what signs to look for,” Matthews-Osmond said. “This symposium is a major step in helping to fight this widespread and often invisible crime.”
The symposium is being held on Zoom from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Pre-registration is required. The deadline to register is 1:30 p.m. Friday.
To register visit www.brantfordpolice.ca and follow the links to the Eventbright page to register.
Participants will receive a $45 gift certificate.
Other perks, including Airpods, post-secondary bursaries and other gift certificates, will be presented randomly throughout the event.
The symposium is being supported by the Ministry of the Solicitor General.
Meanwhile, police are reminding parents of the importance of monitoring social activity of their children.
“Young people are often hesitant to come forward and could downplay an incident as they may fear retaliation from bullies,” Osmond-Matthews said. “Whether you’re a police officer, student, an educator, a parent or a caregiver, we all have a duty to keep children safe.”