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Human trafficking session to address child exploitation

The Lycoming County Human Trafficking Response Team is hosting a symposium titled “Open Your Eyes: Reasons, Responsibilities, Responses” at two locations to discuss the reality of human slavery.

The events both begin at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 27 at Faith Wesleyan Church, 1033 Tucker St., and Jan. 28 at Christ Wesleyan Church, 363 Stamm Road, Milton.

“We are seeking to save and protect our children,” James H. Sortman, chairman of the response team, said.

The purpose of the event is to address the faith-based community about the relevance and reality of child exploitation.

There will be two speakers as well as a human-trafficking survivor to share their story.

Shea M. Rhodes, director of the Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation at Villanova University Charles Widger Law School, will speak about the laws and policies regarding human trafficking.

Debbie Colton, founder and president of Oasis of Hope, will talk about her organization that helps girls who have been trafficked as well as discuss how victims get into sex trafficking, how to recognize the signs and how to help.

After the symposium, Heather Shnyder, prevention education specialist of Transitions in Lewisburg, will give the mandatory reporting training.

Registration ends Jan. 13.

To reserve a spot, call Sortman at 570-494-0154 or email him at jhsortman@gmail.com.

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