Mississippi’s Center for Violence Prevention proudly recognized the Mississippi Federation of Republican Women (MFRW) for its publicity of the National Human Trafficking Hotline this morning.
In the spring of 2017, the former MFRW president, Dana Stringer, sought to engage the MFRW in a project in which the organization could make a significant impact. After learning that human trafficking was a huge problem in the state, the MFRW focused its efforts on human trafficking awareness.
Kay Forsman, MFRW Legislation and Research Committee Chairman, said they found that promoting the National Human Trafficking Hotline is one of the most effective ways to increase human trafficking arrests.
“We hope by promoting the National Human Trafficking Hotline in Mississippi we will offer hope to trafficked victims, along with sending a message to traffickers that Mississippi is not their safe haven,” said Forsman.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline is a national anti-trafficking hotline serving victims and survivors of human trafficking and the anti-trafficking community in the United States. The toll-free hotline is available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year in more than 200 languages. The number is 888-373-7888.
The MFRW is promoting the hotline through stickers placed in public restroom stalls as well as a billboard campaign. In addition, MFRW clubs are educating the public through human trafficking awareness seminars.
Caroline Diemar, Director of the National Human Trafficking Hotline, said people exploited in forms of modern slavery are receiving help and services to rebuild their lives every day in America, including here in Mississippi.
“From the domestic worker provided with her visa, to the young woman sold online for sex who now has counseling and therapy support, survivors are reaching out to the National Human Trafficking Hotline more than ever,” said Diemar. “Too often, though, survivors aren’t aware the National Hotline exists. Efforts like Mississippi’s awareness campaign are critical to ensuring survivors of sex and labor trafficking get the help they need, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the support in sharing the Hotline number.”
MFRW president, Vivian Dailey, said it’s important for everyone in the state of Mississippi to be involved with this because it impacts the lives of not only children and teenagers, but adults as well. She said half of the cases are with children and half of the cases are with adults and these are people who have no control over their lives or what is happening to them.
“When they have no place to turn, they don’t have the resources that they need to be able to take care of themselves and their families. We’ve had women who have been torn away from their families and their children are left without any adult supervision,” said Dailey. “We’ve also had teenagers whose parents have been searching for them for years because they do not have any place to turn and the parents don’t know what happened to their children. It is a drain on our people of Mississippi.”
Dailey added that all people in Mississippi need to recognize that we need to garner, support and care for each of the individuals no matter what their circumstances when there’s no-one there to take care of them.
Mississippi’s Center for Violence Prevention provided this award on the one-year anniversary of the opening of The Tower. Through The Tower, The Center has designed trauma-informed evidence-based programming focused on victim safety, recovery, and restoration. Services for victims include emergency and long-term shelter, case management, advocacy, therapeutic services, and education and awareness. Therapeutic services include multiple treatment modalities proven to work for victims who have experienced complex trauma. EMDR, cognitive behavioral therapy, restorative yoga and mindfulness, animal-assisted therapy, art and music expression are some of the tools available for treatment. Support in the form of rapid response throughout the entire state provides “on-the-ground” screening and assessment services, along with forensic exams, when appropriate. The Center’s staff collaborates with law enforcement and other service providers to facilitate proper treatment and referrals for victims.