On Tuesday, Feb. 13 and Wednesday, Feb. 14, the Community Service Council (CSC), the Tulsa Child Trafficking Task Force and the Oklahoma Human Trafficking Task Force convened hundreds of law enforcement professionals, prosecutors, community activists, health practitioners, counselors and child protection workers to discuss the harsh reality of human trafficking in Oklahoma.
The 2nd Annual Oklahoma United: Bringing Human Trafficking Out of the Shadows took place at the Tulsa Tech Owasso Campus. An array of local and national expert speakers took a hard look at the horrors of human trafficking in Oklahoma, and discussed proven anti-trafficking strategies and prevention methods that can combat and ultimately eradicate the trafficking of women, youth and children in this state.
“Our hope is that this conference will empower the many individual efforts occurring across our state to end human trafficking,” said Shauna Meador, Community Service Council’s health and mental health division director. “By uniting our experiences and knowledge, we can become an even stronger front against this monstrosity that is preying on Oklahoma’s most vulnerable populations.”
Local and national speakers presented in more than 30 workshops, including U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma Trent Shores; Mike Snowden, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs; Christina Rangel, Human Trafficking Survivor and Advocate; Peter Angell, Human Trafficking Task Force – Florida; Cara Pierce, U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Texas; Lt. Donna Gavin, Boston Police Department; Judge William LaFortune; Sgt. Todd Evans; Tulsa Police Department; and many others who are fighting human trafficking within their specific professions.
Workshop topics included law enforcement case studies, domestic minor sex trafficking, protocols and resources for the medical community, trauma-informed care for survivors and witnesses, pornography and its connection to human trafficking, human trafficking in Indian Country, guidance for educators and school systems, effective testifying for advocates, identifying pimps, and much more.