January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

| January 22, 2018

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and to bring more awareness to the area, the local Human Trafficking Coalition held a poster contest on Saturday, Jan. 20 at the Coshocton Community Center. Winners of the contest were: Adult – Heather McMasters; Elementary School – Kennedy McMasters; Middle School – Beth Burkhart; and High School – Samantha Corbett. Each received a $25 prize. Jen Jones | Beacon

COSHOCTON – To help bring awareness of human trafficking to the area, the local Human Trafficking Coalition held a poster contest on Saturday, Jan. 20 at the Coshocton Community Center.

Renee Corbett, from the Coshocton County Juvenile Court, and Robin Snider, from First Step, organized the event.

“Because of all the snow, and the schools being closed, we didn’t get our flyers out like we had planned,” said Corbett. “I hope we can make this an annual event and that we’ll have more attend next year. We wanted to do something to mark January as Human Trafficking Awareness month.”

Corbett and Snyder provided poster board and markers for the people to create their posters. Four groups were judged with the following winners: Elementary School – Kennedy McMasters; Middle School – Beth Burkhart; High School – Samantha Corbett; and Adult – Heather McMasters.

Each won a prize of $25. The winning posters will be displayed in the window at the United Way and all other posters will be hung in the window of the Juvenile Court.

“We are going to have a booth at the Coshocton County Career Center Open House in February and the winning posters will be displayed,” said Corbett.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking is modern day slavery and is happening all over the country. Victims can be United States citizens or from other countries. They can be any age, gender or socioeconomic status. There have been reported incidences of human trafficking in Coshocton County.

There are three different types of human trafficking – sex trafficking, forced labor and domestic servitude. Forced labor victims can be made to work for little or no pay by force, coercion or fraud. They may be found on farms, in factories or doing construction work, among other jobs. Domestic servants are often hidden in plain sight and are prisoners working as maids, domestic help or nannies.

The DHS website states that thousands of cases of human trafficking are reported every year, but many more go unnoticed. It is a hidden crime because victims are too scared to come forward and others may not know the signs to look for.

  • Does a person appear disconnected from family and friends?
  • Have you noticed a sudden change in behavior?
  • Has a child stopped attending school?
  • Do you see bruises in various stages of healing?
  • Does the person seem afraid or very submissive?
  • Does the person look to be neglected? Maybe denied food, water, or medical care?
  • Does the person have freedom to come and go as they please or are they kept close to someone at all times?

These indicators may not appear in all human trafficking cases. For more information on indicators and what you can do to prevent human trafficking, visit the Department of Homeland Security webpage at www.dhs.gov.

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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