YORK REGION, Ontario — (CANADIAN CHRISTIAN NEWS SERVICE) — On Tuesday evening, March 28, 2017, Springvale Church in Stouffville, ON will host a part-2 event to continue to shine a light in York Region on this dark and very pervasive issue. Last year’s event, which had 355 in attendance, focused primarily on Awareness. This year the focus will be more on education, prevention and action that will invite the audience to a higher level of understanding with the intention to inspire a commitment to get involved.
Human trafficking, the illegal trade of human beings, mainly for the purposes of forced labour and sex trafficking, is not just a concern for impoverished underdeveloped countries; it is concern for Canada. A21, an organization that rescues people out of “the game”, describes this horrendous injustice as the world’s fastest growing criminal activity.
According to a research initiative on the incidence of human trafficking in the province, Ontarians are in dire need of awareness. Some of the findings:
– 63% of victims trafficked in Ontario are Canadian citizens
– 90% are female
– 63% are between the ages of 15-24
– Approx. 34% entered exploitative trafficking via boyfriends acting as pimps
– 96% of victims experienced multiple forms of violence
“These stats mean tween and teen girls in our schools, malls and communities are at risk”, says Stephanie Jackson, spokesperson and organizer of the event. “It’s not okay to sit back and do nothing or just read about the horror from the news. Springvale Church and community are inviting others to join them for an evening of listening, discussing and understanding on how to educate, prevent and take action regarding this subversive phenomenon.”
Casandra Diamond: BridgeNorth Director, Casandra Diamond draws on her own experiences in the sex industry to provide holistic care to commercially sexually exploited individuals through prevention strategies, exit strategies, and safety planning. BridgeNorth is a community organization based in York Region that helps exploited women and girls build healthy lives they want to live.
Workshop Speakers (20 minute talk with 10 minute Q & A)
Marianne Deeks: Youth Worker, Teacher and Speaker with Youth Unlimited.
“Building Resiliency in our Kids” looks at how to talk to kids about sex, pornography, social media and most importantly self-esteem. Marianne will help to equip, empower and provide hope to parents, teachers, and leaders on how to have these seemingly awkward, but critical, conversations in an effective way that connects them with their kids.
Brett Ullman: Speaker & Author, Worlds Apart
“The Porn Talk” This training talk will challenge beliefs and behaviours, and look beyond ourselves at how porn might be hurting ourselves and others. The goal is to equip and empower individuals on how to navigate this conversation no matter if you dabble, struggle, or are addicted to pornography in any of its forms. Moving toward wholeness from brokenness.
Melanie Rhora: Founder, Cyber Smart Canada
In this session, the discussion will highlight app features that get kids into trouble, how predators use those features, as well as how to recognize the top five most dangerous apps for kids. Melanie will provide some great tools to protect you and your kids online.
Various local organizations that work to end human trafficking and supporting victims will have booths for people to learn more about what is being done locally and how to get involved. These include:
- Cyber Smart Canada
- Worlds Apart
- U-R Home
- Celebrate Recovery
- Rahab Ministry
- Youth Unlimited
- Rising Angels
This no-cost event is open to everyone high-school aged and above. We encourage parents, youth workers, educators, teens and church leaders to attend this event on Tuesday, March 28th at 7:00 at Springvale Church, 3885 Stouffville Rd, Whitchurch-Stouffville.