January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month and Catholic Charities is asking for your help recognizing human trafficking in our local community.
Human trafficking is a crime involving the exploitation of someone for the purposes of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Human trafficking affects individuals across the world, including here in the United States, and is commonly regarded as one of the most pressing human rights issues of our time. Human trafficking affects every community in the United States across age, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away in a year. While trying to survive on the streets, youth are exposed to countless dangers, with an increased likelihood of substance abuse, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and a vulnerability to being trafficked.
Locally, Catholic Charities, in partnership with the Schuyler County Youth Bureau, operates the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program and the Safe Harbour Program serving anyone 10-24 years old who has run away, is at risk of running away, or has been a victim of human trafficking. The local 24-hour hotline can be reached by calling or texting 607-742-9629 at any time. A website with resources and help can be found at: SafeHarbourHelp.org.
For more information, please visit the Catholic Charities website at cs-cc.org or call 607-535-2050 and speak with Sophie. If you believe you may have information about a potential trafficking situation, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
About Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler:
Catholic Charities provides support to individuals and families in our community to help them live a more self-reliant life. They specialize in emergency services and housing support. For more information on services, please visit www.cs-cc.org or call 607-734-9784.