by Robin Kemp

The Flint River Community Center will host a Human Trafficking Awareness seminar tonight, Tuesday, October 18, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The program is open to teenagers, adults, and seniors.

Participants will join a discussion with law enforcement officers, legal service providers, and community groups in an effort to raise awareness about the problem and to assist human trafficking victims.

People are trafficked as farm workers, housekeepers, sex workers, and home health aides, among other situations. Hotels and motels around Clayton County and the Southern Crescent are notorious for sex trafficking, partly due to the airport and the many interstates and U.S. highways that pass through here.

Another problem is “grooming” young children and teens, winning their confidence by giving them gifts and special attention, by making them feel mature for their age, or by taking on the role of absent family members–then either turning out the victims as prostitutes or isolating them for the adult’s own sexual gratification.

This can happen at home, at school, at church, in youth groups, or online through exchanges on social sites like Discord, Snapchat, or regular text messages.

You can learn more about recognizing human trafficking situations at the Polaris Project’s website.

For more information about tonight’s program, call (770) 347-0370.

If you or someone you know is being trafficked for labor or for sex, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888 or dial 911 if you are able.

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