Local event to raise awareness on human trafficking in South Dakota

Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 9:31 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Human trafficking is the world’s fastest growing criminal industry. This makes awareness of the subject so important throughout different communities.

Call to Freedom is a local non-profit organization that works to educate and advocate to stop human trafficking.

They will be hosting an event where key speakers and survivors will share their experience with human trafficking.

Executive director for Call to Freedom, Becky Rasmussen, says this is the most important part of the event.

“For me, the most important part is that we have survivors sharing their voice from their personal journeys. That they are strong enough and able to do that and I think that speaks volumes for our community, that our eyes will be opened as to how this happens. And that we’re giving survivors a voice,” said Becky Rasmussen, executive director for Call to Freedom.

Riley O’Brien is a survivor of sex trafficking, and one of the speakers at the event tomorrow. She hopes sharing her story will help to bring more awareness to the issue.

“My trafficking story was with my dad; he was a part of a secret society in a cult church in my neighborhood and lots of other children in the community,” said Rita O’Brien, event speaker.

She says it also helps to bring healing.

“I got healing, and I want other people that have been through it to get that healing and the only way they are going to get that is if they know what human trafficking is,” said O’Brien.

Rasmussen points out just how important the issue has become in recent years.

“It’s a really new social injustice so as our community comes together and says we are going to come behind this that we’re going to combat this it tells traffickers that we won’t accept them in our community, that it’s not okay to do this and that we are actually going to come together to stop this issue,” said Rasmussen.

They also want to stress how common this is.

“There are all different kinds of trafficking, it is not one cookie cutter case, it’s not people chained to a bed, it’s not a certain movie, where everybody goes all crazy and goes out of the country. It’s happening right here in every town in the United States,” said O’Brien.

The event is tomorrow from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., but there is a waitlist.

You can find future events on their website at Call to Freedom - Call to Freedom - Heal, Restore, Empower

Copyright 2022 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.