Education

County hosts Human Trafficking Awareness Workshop in Somerville

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SOMERVILLE, NJ -  Parents and professionals who work with youth are encouraged to attend a sex trafficking awareness and education program next month.

The workshop will be held Jan. 15, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the first-floor conference room of the Somerset County Human Services Building at 27 Warren St. Registration and networking will begin at 8:30 a.m. There is free parking on the third level or higher of the parking deck next to the building.

Rebekah Contarino, founder and executive director of Love True will conduct the workshop.  Participants will learn about the realities of domestic sex trafficking in America and the progressive tools to help educate children, or those you work with, about this topic. The program is a condensed version of Love True’s interactive workshop.

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Love True is a New Jersey-based, not-for-profit organization that works to fight domestic sex trafficking through prevention, education and restoration (www.love-true.org). Contarino has worked in the anti-trafficking field for five years and is a member of the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking. She is a member of the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force Faith-Based Subcommittee and assists other organizations.

Contarino is a certified My Life My Choice sex trafficking prevention facilitator. She co-wrote a prevention program for male youth that launched in the summer of 2014. She also educates and trains professionals in the area of sex trafficking and prevention. She frequently speaks at anti-trafficking events, at schools, places of worship and state-run youth agencies.

She testified on behalf of the Human Trafficking Prevention Protection and Provision Act, which was passed in early 2013, ensuring that New Jersey's laws protect victims and impose stronger penalties for perpetrators. With Love True's board of directors, she currently is continuing her prevention work and is planning to open New Jersey’s first restoration home for domestically trafficked minors.

Cost is $20 per person, which includes a light breakfast and professional development credits. Cash, or checks made payable to Friends of Somerset County Youth, will be accepted.  To register contact Andrea Clegg in the Somerset County Office of Youth Services at 908-704-6333 or clegg@co.somerset.nj.us.

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