On February 1, the Office of the Tulare County District Attorney and Porterville College will screen “Chosen,” a documentary film dedicated to raising awareness of human trafficking among students and youth.
The film screening, followed by a panel of experts comprised of prosecutors, law enforcement, and victim advocates, will begin at 6:30 pm in the Porterville College gymnasium. Event entry and parking is free.
“The question of whether human trafficking happens in our communities has been answered, and the unfortunate answer is yes,” said District Attorney Tim Ward. “In partnering with Porterville College, we can bring awareness and education of this terrible crime. It will also serve as a message to those who prey on the vulnerable – trafficking will not be tolerated in our communities.”
Human trafficking is modern day slavery that controls victims through force, fear or coercion for sex or labor services. According to the Polaris Project, 21 million people a year are trapped in trafficking globally, making it a multi-billion dollar industry.
Since the creation of the District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Coalition in 2014, two individuals have been sentenced to prison for trafficking minors for sex in Tulare County. Another 11 defendants are currently in the court process and nearly 30 victims have been identified.
If you suspect a trafficking situation is taking place, contact law enforcement immediately. Learn the signs at http://www.da-tulareco.org/HumanTrafficking.htm.