Marysville Soroptimist chapter, PTA Council forum on combating sex trafficking March 5

MARYSVILLE — As part of their mission to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world. Soroptimist International of Marysville is working to educate Snohomish County about the sexual exploitation of youth, from child sex trafficking to the coercion, abuse and exploitation of children and teens.

"Sex trafficking is the second largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world," said Renae James, president of Soroptimist International of Marysville. "We need to let our community know about it, because knowledge is power, and because trafficking is happening right here in Snohomish County."

Soroptimist International of Marysville and the Marysville PTA Council are again partnering to conduct a community awareness event on combating sex trafficking from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5, in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School auditorium, located at 5611 108th St. NE.

"The goal of this event is to have teenagers and their parents attend and learn together how our young people are falling prey to these traffickers, and how to see the warning signs," said James, who noted that the evening's speakers are set to include members of law enforcement, counselors and possibly even victims of trafficking, each of whom possess firsthand, local knowledge of this problem. "Perpetrators prey on the most weak among us, primarily women and children, for profit and gain. They lure victims into involuntary servitude and sexual slavery."

The evening's program will also include a short video, followed by a question-and-answer session with the speakers. While this event is primarily targeted toward teenagers and their parents, James hopes to see other adults in the community in attendance as well, to raise awareness of how this problem impacts not only young people and their families, but also their surrounding community as a whole.

For more information, please call Elaine Hanson at 360-659-9202.

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