Human Trafficking: A Global Issue Close to Home

Soroptimist International Woodbridge and Manassas presented a forum, “Human Trafficking: A Global Issue Close to Home,” on February 1st at the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center, Manassas.  The forum provided an opportunity for community members to learn about human trafficking, its global, national and local implications.

A panel of experts was available to answer questions from the audience and to discuss their work.   These included: Greg H, Bristol from Bristol Public Safety Consultants, who trains law enforcement officers in how to investigate human trafficking crimes, Derrick Higgins Assistant Director of Admissions Youth for Tomorrow. YFT has a residential program for youth who have been involved in human trafficking.  Lisa Johnson-Firth, Principal, Immigrants First, an immigration and human rights law firm knowledgeable in the rights of human trafficking victims. Hans Mumm from Victory Systems LLC, trainer in the area of human trafficking identification. Fay M. Phillips-LeSane President and CEO of Agape Behavioral Health and Counseling Services.  Ms. LeSane has extensive experience in treating domestic minors, who have been the victims of sex trafficking. Deborah Sigmund, Director and Founder of Innocents At Risk, a non-profit dedicated to eliminating trafficking of women and children.

Exhibitors were also present to provide information on resources and programs in the local area. These included: ACTS/SAVAS, Bridge to Freedom Foundation, DC Stop Modern Slavery, G.R.I.T Gang Response Intervention Team, Innocents at Risk, Polaris Project and Shared Hope International.