(KMTR) -- Sex trafficking is a serious problem in the US
, and a real threat in Oregon
. Police and victim's advocates say the more people know about it, the easier it is to stop, and an upcoming forum in Florence
aims to do just that.
The forum has been organized by two women in Soroptimist International of Florence, an organization focused on the empowerment of women. The group recently received some grant money to put on the forum. After attending a large convention last on the issue of sex trafficking in Oregon, the two felt it was necessary to spread the knowledge they gained.
Portland has the second highest rate of sex trafficking on the West Coast. This event will teach people the warning signs, and help more Oregonians understand the issue.
"Our goal is to help educate the public, make people aware that this is a problem, and it's becoming more of a problem in the northwest," says one of the organizers, Frankie Stuart.
"We are hopeful that the teachers will come. We would like parents to come. We would like older children to come, because they will learn from the different speakers what could happen, and how this happens,” says the other organizer, Jo Hine, current President of Soroptimist International of Florence.
The forum is scheduled for Saturday, February 23rd from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., at the Ocean Dunes Golf Links in Florence. It’ll be held in the Fireside room, it’s free and will include a small lunch. To RSVP for the lunch, you’re asked to call 541-902-6607. There will be officers at the forum who have worked with sex trafficking victims, as well as a few victims themselves, sharing their experiences.