Cullman mayor proclaims January 11, 2022, ‘Human Trafficking Awareness Day’

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Photo, L-R: Jill Herring, Haley Harris, Kathy Wilson, Mayor Jacobs, Jeremy Cline, Judge Chad Floyd (Photo courtesy of The City of Cullman)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs officially proclaimed January 11, 2022, “Human Trafficking Awareness Day” in the City of Cullman Monday, Jan. 10. On hand to accept the proclamation were Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force members Cullman County Juvenile Probation Officer & Task Force Chairperson Kathy Wilson, District Judge Chad Floyd, Haley Harris and Jill Herring from Brooks’ Place/CAC and Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Cline.

“This is an issue people are becoming more aware of,” said Mayor Jacobs. “And that’s because of the work that all of you [Human Trafficking Awareness Day] are doing.”

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 thriving criminal industry globally. 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 this 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. With Cullman’s close proximity to the Interstate and other major highways, it 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 our 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 the signs. 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 learn more about the Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Cullman-County-Human-Trafficking-Task-Force or send an email to endtrafficking25@gmail.com.

More information on human trafficking in Alabama can be found on https://www.enditalabama.org/ or https://stnow.org/.