Local organization shedding light on the dark side of sporting events: Human trafficking

August, Ga. (WJBF)- In less than 2 weeks, thousands will be heading to Augusta for the Masters tournament. During that time that a local organization will beef up its efforts to shed light on the dark side of human trafficking that so often happens during major sporting events like this one.

The group I’m Aware, held an information blitz at First Baptist Church where they gave out pamphlets to discuss what they’re calling modern-day slavery and how it can occur here in the CSRA.

The pamphlets gave volunteers information about resources for sex trafficking victims that could travel to Augusta to work during the masters tournament. While here victims tend to frequent places such as bars, hotels and even truck stops.

Volunteers will then take the information given to target those areas so that victims will see the signs and seek help. Elizabeth Smith, co-founder of I’m aware said she learned about trafficking after watching a documentary and knew she had to get involved.

“If we didn’t really know what was going on with trafficking then a lot of people probably didnt so thats where the name I’m aware comes from because our initial focus and our main goal has still continued to be to raise awareness on the issue, get community involvement, and make sure that the different industries that are more likely to come in contact with a victim have the resources that they need.” Smith said.

I’m aware is also partnering with local law enforcement and the District attorneys office to prosecute those arrested for sex trafficking during the masters.

Each volunteer also received a copy of House Bill 141 that requires certain business to post information about human trafficking so that victims who see the signs may receive help. For more information on I’m aware email Gail Pendergrast, the Education Coordinator for I’m Aware at coachgailp@gmail.com or call (706) 373-9993.

 

 

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