For generations Duluth has heard murmurs of the women and girls rarely seen, but commonly rumored to “work the boats.” These women, some as young as preteens, would be beckoned or brought on board, at times swimming out to the ships themselves, and move bunk to bunk servicing the various members of a ship’s crew. However, these claims seemed only speculations and the topic was taboo in most circles of society. Prostitution was one issue, but slavery in Duluth’s backyard was an unthinkable and uncomfortable subject to raise.
– Kelsey Fuhrman in Easing the traffick jam: Duluth’s emerging efforts toward combating sex slavery
September 19th and 20th Hillside Church, the Duluth Human Trafficking task force and others present training and awareness opportunities for people of all walks of life to learn about human trafficking, the sex trade, and human slavery as it exists in the Twin Ports today. The Monday night training is designed for community members, especially those from the faith community. Tuesday mornings sessions are designed for professionals in the counseling, medical, social work, law enforcement and so on. The trainings will feature speakers from Breaking Free, a Minnesota-based organization that serves “women and girls who have been victims of abuse and commercial sexual exploitation (prostitution/sex trafficking) and need assistance escaping the violence in their lives.”
Here’s a Facebook event link if you want to check it out or help spread the word that way. Contact Hillside Church or Erin Aili from A Beautiful Rescue, to register for either training or to get involved in other ways.
If you want to get some perspective on the issue of sex trafficking in the Twin Ports, check out this post from earlier this summer on PDD, the comments section is particularly lively on that one. You could also check out this news story about the Duluth Human Trafficking task force from Northland’s News Center in November, 2010
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