An event to discuss human trafficking and sexual assault will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 10 in the Elkhorn Area High School auditorium.

According to Fight to End Exploitation Inc., southeastern Wisconsin’s geographical location is on a known trafficking route in the Midwest and a known breeding ground for traffickers and recruiting ground for victims. This results in an area at high risk for trafficking. Those factors, combined with high unemployment, increased gang and drug activity and high poverty levels create an even higher risk for human trafficking locally, according to Fight to End Exploitation.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center offers the following statistics about sexual assault:

  • One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives; • One in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime;
  • 51.1 percent of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8 percent by an acquaintance;
  • 52.4 percent of male victims report being raped by an acquaintance and 15.1 percent by a stranger;
  • Nearly half – 49.5 percent – of multiracial women and more than 45 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women were subjected to some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime. In eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the perpetrator.

Sponsors of the Jan. 10 event include Aurora Health Care, Sugar Creek Lutheran Church, Calvary Community Church, United Methodist Churches of Walworth County, Christian Life Church, Thrivent Financial, Wisconsin Freemasons, Elkhorn Rotary Club, Walworth-Fontana Rotary Club, Lake Geneva Rotary Club, Whitewater Rotary Club, Delavan Rotary Club, the Walworth County Anti-human Trafficking Taskforce and the Walworth County University of Wisconsin-Extension.

Area community leaders will discuss human trafficking, sexual assault, dating safety and internet safety. To wrap up the evening, a panel of people who are actively working to stop human trafficking and eliminate sexual assault in area communities will participate in a question-and-answer forum.

The U.S. Victims of Trafficking and Violence Act of 2000 defines human trafficking as the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining a person for forced labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud or coercion. Human trafficking affects individuals across the world, including in the United States, and is commonly regarded as one of the most pressing human rights issues of the time.

Human trafficking affects every community in the United States across age, gender, ethnicity and socio-economic backgrounds, according to the report. Victims rarely come forward to seek help because of language barriers, fear of the traffickers or fear of law enforcement.

Sexual assault refers to any type of sexual activity that lacks consent. This includes unwanted sexual touching, nonconsensual sex or rape, attempted rape, sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

The Jan. 10 event is being offered free. To register, visit bit.ly/JTMElkhorn19. For more information contact Dawn Heath at 262-374-1491 or dtheath16@gmail.com, or Amanda Kostman at 262-741-4951 or amanda.kostman@ces.uwex.edu. To ensure simultaneous Spanish interpretation register by Jan. 3 online or by contacting Gonzalo Vega at 262-741-4951 or gvega@co.walworth.wi.us.

For more information visit the Join the Movement website at jtme-inc.org. The emergency hotline number is 1-888-373-7888.

 
 

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