HT AWARENESS COMMITTEE
WSDW in 2013 created its Human Trafficking Awareness Committee. The Committee task was to act as a facilitator using the expertise of qualified organizations to create a program for use within the greater West Seattle Community teaching how to recognize it in our community and, when recognized, what to do with that information. The community awareness meetings are hosted by various community organizations and speakers may include police detectives, Seattle Against Slavery, movies, etc.
Chair Elizabeth Heath recently reported May 28th…….After researching the subject of Human Trafficking for most of the year 2013 after its formation, the Human Trafficking Awareness Committee learned three important things that shaped its campaign.
1) Human Trafficking is a complex, multi-faceted issue and not something our committee members could become proficient about, given our busy lives. Fortunately, there are resources available, such as films produced by other organizations, and local experts to make presentations, such as Robert Beiser, Director of Seattle Against Slavery, and Bryan Taylor, Detective with King County Sheriff.
2) Human Trafficking is a global problem and a local problem. It does not just take place half-way around the world in Thailand, for example; it can and has happened right here in West Seattle.
3) When we learn about many issues, we can end up feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, and helpless. That’s not the case with Human Trafficking. There is much that we community members can do about it. We can report suspicious activity to the national hotline (888-3737-888); we can better inform ourselves about the issue and volunteer with local organizations that are addressing the problem; and we can we can contribute financially to help organizations which help spread awareness, provide victim services, and support legislation to fill in the current loopholes. We can be proud that Washington State has the best legislation on Human Trafficking as well as the best enforcement of the laws. And there is more to be done.
The next meeting will be: tbd
HT – VIA LEGISLATIVE EFFORT
WSDW also looks for opportunities to help eliminate Human Trafficking through the political process by making ourselves aware of and by supporting legislation effecting (either directly or indirectly) anti human trafficking. In that regard, WSDW is proud to be a member of the University of Washington’s Women’s Center Anti Human Trafficking Task Force.
Karen Chilcutt, WSDW’s liaison to the Task Force noted The West Seattle Democratic Women are developing an aid to help coordinate all the Anti HT activists thereby maximizing their effect on the legislative process…more to come!!