Shining A Light on Human Trafficking in January

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Every year, January 11 is recognized as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

All month long across the Northland, there are events scheduled to bring awareness to the ongoing and unfortunate issue our community is facing. Duluth’s Enger Tower will be lit blue for human trafficking awareness from Janurary 3 to 6.

The group, Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault, also known as PASVA, is holding its 10th annual month of human trafficking awareness events.

This year’s theme is "we are connected," a message not only of solidarity against human trafficking but also of how we all play a role in ending it.

"It is important to demonstrate the values that we have, the wisdom, the love, the respect, the bravery, the honesty, humility, and truth we try to live by those teachings we have a better life that we seek that in today’s healing," says Fond Du Lac Tribal Elder, Ricky Defoe.

In the Fond Du Lac community, shawls are powerful for women. Shawls represent solidarity, strength, beauty, and honor missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. Victims and survivors of violence and assault are honored through three powerful colors.

"This is our shawl right here, we use the colors red, purple, and teal. The red shawl honors all native people who have survived many forms of violence throughout history. The teal color fringe honors victims and survivors of sexual assault. The purple fringe honors victims and survivors of domestic violence," said Fond Du Lac Domestic Violence Advocate Rene Rote.

Another way to honor all survivors of sexual and domestic violence is through dance. It is a time for healing…for celebration of life, friends, and family. Dance for a future free from violence!

Human trafficking frequently goes undetached it is hard to identify. Education, increasing awareness, and committing to prevention are keys to addressing the issue and supporting survivors. To see a list of events from Duluth’s MN Trafficking Awareness, visit their Facebook page to register for the events.

LINK: Trafficking Awareness Month Virtual Events 2022