MANCHESTER — A national organization dedicated to preventing sex trafficking and recovering victims will present a program at Manchester Community College on Thursday and Friday, April 19 and 20.
Representatives from Selah Freedom, a Sarasota-based prevention and rehabilitation network, will present two brief introductions to their work on Thursday, as well as an in-depth training seminar on Friday. Though its headquarters is in Sarasota, the organization does work all over the country.
This will be the organization’s first time in Connecticut. Selah Freedom connected with MCC through longtime donor Dr. Rob Fish, who used to practice dentistry in Manchester before retiring to Sarasota, where he now does pro bono dentistry for the organization. Selah is a Hebrew word that means to pause, rest, and reflect.
MCC President Gena Glickman said that the issue “hits close to home.”
“The issue of human trafficking is a huge issue for us in Connecticut and across the country,” she said.
The $35 billion industry has the potential to affect anybody. Glickman said the dangers transcend economic strata, and MCC has had students who are considered vulnerable to trafficking.
The Thursday workshops, which will take place at 3:30-5 p.m. and 7-8:30 p.m., will be an introduction to the problem. Attendees will learn how to identify potential victims and how to intervene. Friday’s workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to noon and will be an in-depth training focused on identifying the root of the problem, red flags, and predator methods. Community members can pick the seminar that best fits their schedule.
Glickman said the workshops are in line with the MCC mission to engage the community in conversations about relevant issues. Attendance is open to the community, and she says she hopes as many people attend as possible. The event is free, but pre-registration is appreciated.
The average age of victims is 12-14 years old, so Glickman hopes teenagers and their friends will take interest in the event, as well.
“The more people who have an awareness of the issue, the more children will be saved,” she said.
Fish, MCC Foundation, The Rotary Club, the Manchester Police Department, the Manchester Women’s Club, and Manchester Public Schools will sponsor the event.
Originally published by the Journal Inquirer.