Cottage Grove Cares, Monona Cares and McFarland RADAR Coalition, along with four other Dane County Coalitions, are offering a virtual presentation with two speakers on Jan. 13 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Retired Madison Police Special Victims Unit Detective Roger Baker and Project Respect Director Jan Miyasaki will be the two speakers. The virtual link to the presentation can be found on the Monona Cares (mononacares.org), Cottage Grove Cares (cottagegrovecares.org) or the McFarland RADAR (radarmc.com) websites. If you have problems with the virtual link, use the meeting ID and password provided for the zoom event.

This Human Trafficking event will be different from groups’ previous events, they say. Both Baker and Miyasaki will provide an in-depth look at human trafficking in the Dane County area. Baker will share the different human trafficking cases that he has seen in the past year as well as the data that he has been able to collect. He will also discuss how traffickers use advertisements to sell victims. Miyasaki will share some local data, resources available for victims and what she has witnessed within the Dane County area.

Human Trafficking affects close to 500 individuals in the Dane County area, according to a press release from the groups.

“Every community in Dane County has been touched by human trafficking,” the release stated. “While these numbers may seem small, these are only the cases reported to local law enforcement agencies and to the National Trafficking Hotline.”

Victims of human trafficking are found across all age, gender, social and ethnic/racial groups. Victims of human trafficking often show some of the following red flags: having goods or services they cannot afford, restricted and/or scripted communication, physical injuries or signs of abuse, appearing nervous or scared, avoiding eye contact, typically having someone with them at all times, etc. It is important for a community to be aware of these warning signs and have the knowledge of what to do if they see this, according to the groups.

Given the nature of the material being presented at this event it is suggested that attendees be 15 years of age or older. For those participants who complete the post survey, there will be a chance to win one of four $25 dollar Kwik Trip gift cards. The coalition also has medication lock boxes/bags available for anyone who would like one.

The other groups taking part in the event are Deerfield Cares, StoughtonCARES, Belleville Area Cares and NWDCC — Northwest Dane Cares.

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