LANSING—Saturday is Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Michigan, and Sen. Judy Emmons will be joining advocates Theresa Flores and Anny Donewald in Detroit to help educate people about the crime and teaming up with S.O.A.P. (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) for its 3rd Annual Detroit Auto Show Outreach.
“Human Trafficking Awareness Day is about dedicating a day entirely to educating people about human trafficking, its life-altering effect on thousands of women and children and how prevalent it is in our state,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “Major gatherings of people, such as the Detroit auto show, are prime targets for trafficking — putting Michigan on the front line. I am honored to be joining Theresa and Anny for this outstanding outreach initiative. They are both survivors of human trafficking and leaders in the effort to end this modern-day slavery.”
S.O.A.P. delivers soap bars with the human trafficking hotline number to area hotels in advance of the North American International Auto Show. Flores developed the initiative to publicize the toll-free number that can be called by victims of trafficking and those who observe incidences that point to trafficking taking place. The hotline number is 1-888-3737-888.
“We buy cases of soap and distribute them free to motels and hotels. Each bar of soap has the number of the National Human Trafficking Hotline on it,” Flores said. “We also give the hotel front desks photos of missing teenagers and talk to them about what to look for.”
Emmons, Flores, Donewald and S.O.A.P. volunteers will be meeting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the House of Help Community Center to label soap bars with the hotline number and pass them out to area hotels along with missing children posters. The center is located at 23700 Clarita Ave. in Detroit. Before the program, people are welcome to participate in a prayer service at 8:30 a.m.
Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Michigan was designated through a resolution sponsored by Emmons and adopted in December.
“As the point person in the Senate on human trafficking, I know that while we are approving initiatives for new laws and victim support, the battle against this crime all starts with increasing public awareness,” Emmons said. “I encourage all concerned citizens to come out and help us make a difference by offering a way for victims to reach out for help.”
Everyone is welcome to attend the event. For more details, contact Emmons’ office at 1-517-373-3760 or by sending an email to SenJEmmons@senate.michigan.gov.