March 27, 2019 – On March 19 in Pewaukee, at A Conversation about Sex Trafficking in Our Communities, former Wisconsin Attorney General and current Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Brad Schimel stated, “If you have a drug problem, you have sex trafficking.” Many in our community know personally or know of someone who has been caught up in the opioid epidemic, with tragic results.
What is not as well known is the rise in sex trafficking of our youth.
Child sex trafficking has been identified in every county in Wisconsin, including Washington County, in cities as well as rural locations. The average victim is a female 13-year-old, but boys are also trafficked and victims can be as young as nine. Social media has been a big factor in the rise of child sex trafficking, and also makes it much harder to identify because victims can be trafficked even while living at home with unsuspecting parents and siblings.
Salem United Church of Christ in Wayne will observe Break The Silence Sunday on March 31 at 9 a.m. During this service of worship, we will acknowledge the painful reality of rape and sexual violence in all situations, trusting in the good news of God’s love, and we will commit ourselves to being a listening people, and a people dedicated to changing the reality of violence in the world. Guest speaker Tracy Scheffler, founder of 5 Stones Beaver Dam, will talk about sex trafficking and ways to identify and help victims.
5 Stones Beaver Dam is a volunteer organization that has been researching human trafficking for six years in Beaver Dam and surrounding areas. Ms. Scheffler is a member of the Madison Anti-Trafficking Consortium, has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and works in the local school system and other organizations to educate youth and adults regarding trafficking. Youth, parents, concerned community members, and survivors of sexual violence are encouraged to attend.
This service may be difficult and challenging. If you plan to attend, please take time to prepare yourself. Ask God for the strength to open your heart and mind, that we might support all the survivors who are part of our community and the world. Please share this information as you see fit.
If you have questions or concerns about the service, please contact Rev. Ruth Hansen at (262) 271-7085 or [email protected].
Salem United Church of Christ is located just north of the intersection of County Hwy W and Hwy H/Mohawk Road in Wayne.