Sno-Isle Libraries will be hosting a public forum on sex trafficking and victims of the sex trade in North Puget Sound on Thursday, Oct. 8, at Edmonds Community College’s Black Box Theatre.
“Trafficking: Saving our youth from the sex trade” will begin at 7 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre, 20310 68th Ave. W., on the Edmonds Community College campus. The event is part of the Sno-Isle Libraries Issues That Matter series.
The moderator will be Tim Matsui, producer of “The Long Night,” a film set in Seattle that gives voice to minors who are coerced into the American sex trade. The documentary weaves together the stories of seven people whose lives have been forever changed by the issue.
“Sex trafficking is not just a big-city problem,” said Chuck Pratt, head of the Sno-Isle Libraries Issues That Matter team. “By one recent estimate, 250 girls and women work as prostitutes in Snohomish County, where the hotline to report sex trafficking received 93 calls over a nine-month span. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children estimates that one in six endangered runaways reported to them are likely sex trafficking victims.”
During the forum, a panel of experts will discuss the extent of victimization in the region, how communities can support survivors of sex trafficking, and what can be done to prevent youth from being by exploited.
Panelists will include:
- Peter Teske, human trafficking detective for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit;
- Paula Newman-Skomski, a forensic nurse examiner with Providence Intervention Center for Assault & Abuse and founder of Peoria Home, which will provide housing and support services for women with a history of sex trafficking, prostitution and chemical dependency;
- Lindsay Cortes, program manager for the Cocoon House emergency youth shelter;
- a representative of WARN, a coalition of organizations in Washington state that provide direct assistance to victims of trafficking.
The program is sponsored by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation and hosted by Lynnwood Library. More information, including library resources and links related to the topic, is available at sno-isle.org/issues-that-matter.