Today’s speaker was introduced by Rotarian Tom Moorse. Jessica Bartholomew talked about anti-child trafficking efforts that are needed throughout the world, including Chaska. Jessica served 25 years as a police officer and now is the founder and lead facilitator for A.C.T. United. The organization’s is goal is to educate parents, teachers, citizens, and children about the hazards posed by child prostitution and slavery.
According to statistics Bartholomew provided, Minnesota is in the top 25 percent of U.S. states for sex trafficking. One-sixth of all “missing children” are believed to be involved in this illicit business. The average age of an involved child is 12-14 years old, and is “recruited” (rather than kidnapped) by someone, often posing as another child online, who befriends the victim and gains some kind of leverage to coerce them into the trafficking world. This is just not an inner-city risk, but it can and does occur in Chaska.
Local events such as the Ryder Cup and the Super Bowl are especially profitable for this demand-driven abomination. To combat these crimes, Jessica believes prevention and education are the keys. $1 in prevention negates $34 in treatment and response. She and other speakers will enlighten our citizens at the Chaska Community
Center on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 9 a.m. There will be no entrance fee to hear about tools for families,
schools, males and females.
Learn more at ACT United.