AAUW Medina County has been in the forefront of creating awareness of this issue, both in programming to inform residents of the pervasive problem and in the formation of the Medina County Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
We maintain a membership in the Coalition, have representatives at its meetings and programs and actively work to support its mission.
Last year the Coalition sponsored the half-day “Human Trafficking Workshop: Freeing the Modern Slaves.” The featured speaker was Theresa Flores, author, advocate and human trafficking survivor. She spoke on how teens are targeted and get caught in the business of sexual slavery. She also discussed the origin of the S.O.A.P. Program (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) which she conceived as a hands-on outreach program to fight sex trafficking at large events and in communities. We learned how teams in our area are working to disperse information and bars of soap with contact information for the Sex Trafficking Hot Line at hotels and motels.
Chuck Johnson of the FBI and Jamie Blair, of the Summit County Juvenile Court, discussed trafficking from the point of view of their agencies. Professional CEU’s were offered for attending the session.