New Awareness Campaign Stresses that “Human Trafficking Happens Here Too”

CLEVELAND)— Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today joined Karen Walsh, Director of the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking, and members of Greater Cleveland’s Coordinated Response to Human Trafficking, to unveil a new human trafficking awareness campaign in northeast Ohio.

The campaign, entitled “Human Trafficking Happens Here Too,” will launch on July 1, and continue during and after the Republican National Convention (RNC).  The main goals of the campaign are to raise public awareness and increase recognition of the signs of human trafficking in Ohio and across the United States.

“Many people believe that human trafficking only happens in foreign countries far away from here, but human trafficking is happening in Ohio, it’s happening in Cleveland, and it’s happening all across the United States,” said Attorney General DeWine.  “By launching this campaign to coincide with the Republican National Convention, there will be thousands of people from Ohio and all over the country seeing this message, and we hope it will help them be better aware of human trafficking, no matter where they live.”

The campaign message will be displayed in several concourses at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, on Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority buses, and on a number of billboards throughout the Cleveland area.  The campaign also includes a new website – www.HappensHereToo.org – which will include more information on the crime, signs of human trafficking, and how to get help.

According to RNC organizers, approximately 50,000 visitors are expected in Cleveland during the convention, which runs July 18-21. The awareness campaign will continue after the conclusion of the event.

“The nearly 30 organizations in Greater Cleveland’s Coordinated Response to Human Trafficking are committed to working together as a multi-disciplinary network to address the complexities of the crime and to provide victims with a safety net,” said Karen Walsh of the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking.

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SOAP Project Takes Anti-Trafficking Efforts into Hotels

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Sister Marilyn Nickol, CSJ (far left, standing), led over 40 sister and Saint Joseph Academy student volunteers in the charge to affix anti-trafficking labels to soaps.
Sisters Jackie Goodin and Cecilia Nagel do their part.
Sisters Jackie Goodin and Cecilia Nagel do their part.
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Sister Madeline Lammermeier, CSJ, pitches in.
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The labeled soaps will go label down into local hotel bathrooms during the upcoming RNC.

Hundreds of small soaps with a very important message will be placed in hotels and motels throughout Cleveland during the Republican National Convention this summer, thanks to the anti-trafficking efforts of the Congregation’s Peace and Justice team, and activities that raised more than $1,000 to purchase the soap. The “S.O.A.P.” (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) project is being coordinated by Sister Marilyn Nickol, CSJ, a member of the Congregation’s Peace and Justice Team. Small soaps have been affixed with a red label that includes the National Human Trafficking hotline. “Very often, trafficking increases around large events like conventions,” said Sister Marilyn. “The hope is that if a man or woman is being used for prostitution in hotel rooms against their will during the RNC, they will see the hotline number on the bottom of the soap bar and call it to find help.” Fundraising for the soap was done by Saint Joseph Academy in Cleveland, and students volunteered to help sisters label the soaps.

 

Note:  S.O.A.P. is a national project initiated by Theresa Flores. The Cleveland Chapter is chaired by Donna Ancelotti, who has organized  visits to 350 hotels and motels in the area in early July. The CSJs enthusiastically joined the effort to wrap the bars of soap that will be offered to the hotels and motels in the greater Cleveland area at the time of the Republican National Convention.