Several years ago I was giving a presentation when I stated that I believe that modern-day slavery can be abolished in our generation. One person in the crowd was quite vocal about the impossibility of that goal. However, we at Fierce Freedom believe it to be completely possible and with your help, it is becoming a reality!
This year we have seen some very practical ways that the anti-trafficking movement is making a difference here in the Chippewa Valley. One example is that a young lady who volunteers with Fierce Freedom was approached by a trafficker in the parking lot of a local coffee shop. She knew the trafficking warning signs but just as important, she knew that “something just didn’t feel right.” Even though she educates youth about the trappings of sex trafficking, she was almost lured into a trap that could have endangered her life. I am so happy to say that she is safe and continues to tell her story to youth – helping them to see how this could happen to each of them.
Its stories like that which keep us going. Last month we had a young lady tell us that she heard us speak at her school several years ago, and because of that presentation, she realized that she was being groomed to be trafficked. She was able to make some safe choices, therefore taking herself out of an at-risk situation. We know that trafficking statistics are hard to come by, but we do know for sure that 50% of the time that we speak to any given group we encounter someone who is affected by trafficking. We can do that because of your investment into Fierce Freedom.
This coming year we have many exciting opportunities. In January we are partnering with the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire to give an anti-trafficking seminar to continuing education students and community members on how to combat human trafficking in rural Wisconsin. We are also actively involved in training area law-enforcement, providing anti-trafficking training on university and college campuses as well as outreach into area school districts. Along with those very exciting opportunities, we are thrilled to be part of the first ever State of Wisconsin anti human trafficking taskforce. In fact, here is a quote from one of our State Representatives: “…thank you for testifying at the public hearing on Safe Harbor legislation to protect children. You are very informed and an important voice on this issue… “ – Jill Billings
2016 marks our 9th year of educating the public about local human trafficking. We have made some good headway but this coming year looks like nothing we have seen so far, with state-level opportunities and trainings for organizations that will make decisions for thousands of children, women and men in the state of Wisconsin. Will you join us in exposing modern-day slavery in our hometowns? We have so much opportunity to do so much good this coming year. You have the opportunity to make a difference with us to help the enslaved and exploited. Please join us!
With much gratitude,
Dave and Jenny Almquist
Fierce Freedom, Founders