Pictured, left to right, are Kathy Wilson, Mayor Woody Jacobs, District Judge Kim Chaney and Blakely Hopper
CULLMAN – Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs on Friday officially proclaimed Jan. 11, 2019 “Human Trafficking Awareness Day” in the city of Cullman. On hand to accept the proclamation from the Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force were Cullman County District Judge Kim Chaney, Kathy Wilson and Blakely Hopper.
“This is a real issue, a real problem,” said Jacobs. “Thank you for bringing awareness to human trafficking and for working to prevent this terrible crime from happening in Cullman and Cullman County.”
Human trafficking, often referred to as “modern-day slavery,” involves the use of coercion, force, or fraud to get victims to perform labor or commercial sex acts against their will. It is a large and thriving criminal industry that can be found throughout the world. It can take many forms (debt bondage, forced marriage, slavery, commercial sexual exploitation), but in every case goes against the core principles of individual freedom and civil rights our nation was built upon.
The majority of human trafficking victims are pre-teens or teenagers. Young victims are often lured into traps by people they consider friends, or even by family members. Also, because of our close proximity to the Interstate and other major highways, Cullman is a prime location for perpetrators of human trafficking.
The Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force was organized to work with local law enforcement and other agencies to help prevent human trafficking in the community. The first step to prevent human trafficking is to educate the public. The task force strives to do that through holding public meetings and by sponsoring community events designed to explain what human trafficking is and how people can recognize it. The task force also advocates for changes in local, regional, and state policies related to human trafficking. The volunteer task force is made up of individuals from various departments and agencies throughout the community.
To find out more about the Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force, visit www.facebook.com/Cullman-County-Human-Trafficking-Task-Force or email email@example.com.
More information on human trafficking in Alabama can be found at www.enditalabama.org and www.stnow.org.