Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


St. Pius X Church to offer sex trafficking prevention program

Published January 25, 2018

CONYERS—The St. Pius X Women’s Jail and Prison Ministry will sponsor the community-wide event, “Teen Sex Trafficking: How to Spot It, How to Stop It” on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. in the parish hall at St. Pius X Church, 2621 Highway 20, Conyers.

All are welcome to attend the program, which is free. A love offering will be taken.

Featured speakers will include Susan Norris, author of “Rescuing Hope: A Story of Sex Trafficking in America.” Her book tells the fictional story—based on extensive interviews with survivors, traffickers and law enforcement officers—of an Atlanta teenager who falls victim to a sex trafficker and the violent abuse she endures as friends and family fight to save her.

Norris is founder of Rescuing Hope, a nonprofit organization that works to enlighten the public about sex trafficking in America, educate potential victims and first responders and empower advocates and survivors.

Sara Riesing, of Georgia Cares, will also make a presentation. Georgia Cares is the state agency dedicated to eradicating domestic minor sex trafficking in Georgia and seeing survivors restored and thriving. Georgia Cares accomplishes this by maintaining a 24-hour hotline for victim service and response; employing licensed social workers to conduct assessments to determine if a child is at risk; train communities and professionals on warning signs and resources and by providing other victim services.

Human sex trafficking is the fastest growing criminal activity in the world, according to Norris.

The average age of a domestically trafficked minor in Georgia is 14.8 years old. The average life expectancy for a domestic minor who is sex trafficked is only seven years after they are lured into the life through fraud or coercion. Approximately one percent of victims escape the life.

Norris said that most victims in the United States are from its own cities and neighborhoods, not third world countries, as commonly thought.

At the St. Pius event, parents, educators and the general public will learn what signs to look for when dealing with a possible victim of sex trafficking. Teens will learn tips for safeguarding themselves around strangers and on social media. All will learn about resources available to help domestic minors who have been victimized.

For information on the trafficking prevention event, contact Cheryle Johnson of the St. Pius X Women’s Jail and Prison ministry at 678-464-2521.