Event shares ways to fight back against human trafficking

SAGINAW TOWNSHIP (WJRT) - (10/11/17) - Several Mid-Michigan organizations teamed up to help educate the community about human trafficking.

The focus of "Human Trafficking: A National and State Problem" at the Saginaw Country Club was to show people how they can fight back.

"See something, say something," said Sara Morley LaCroix, a Saginaw Township-native who founded the Kalamazoo Anti Human Trafficking Coalition.

LaCroix was one of three speakers.

Trooper Will Smith from the Tri-City Post also spoke, as did Rebecca McDonald, founder and president of Women At Risk International, known as WAR International.

"This issue, unfortunately, crosses every socioeconomic boundary, it's in every neighborhood," McDonald said.

Sadly, McDonald shared, human trafficking can impact people of any age. "We had just rescued a child sold at two weeks old for $200."

McDonald travels the world trying to create safe places for victims and help them find a future.

"You can not rescue a women, pat her on her head and send her on her way. You must teach her a skill of some sort immediately so she can support herself," McDonald said.

McDonald's non-profit helps victims make jewelry and other items to be sold.

Buying those items is one way to support victims. Others give their time.

"We have pro bono lawyers, pro bono doctors, pro bono tattoo artists," McDonald said. The tattoo artists cover up ink that was used to "brand" a victim.

Here at home, you can volunteer or donate.

"Supporting our domestic violence shelter, supporting our sexual assault shelters, Underground Railroad, the CAN Council here," Morley LaCroix said.

McDonald asked people in attendance to be a voice and use their talents to fight back against human trafficking.

Even just sharing this story with others could help.

"My passion is not for you to quit your job and start a safe house, it's for you to rise up from whatever walk of life and whatever industry you're in, and be that safe place to those you love and those in your circles of influence," McDonald said.

Click on the 'Related Links' with this story to learn more about the groups mentioned and human trafficking.

The event was put together with the help of the Junior League of the Great Lakes Bay Region, the Saginaw County Bar Association, Saginaw County Lawyers Auxiliary, Saginaw County Youth Protection Council, CAN Council of the Great Lakes Bay Region, and the Saginaw County Medical Society Alliance.

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