Tag Archives: Human Trafficking

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month!

Human trafficking is a violent act against humanity. Traffickers and purchasers of those who are victimized lack a conscience, remorse, or respect for the women, men, children, and youth who are victimized by the atrocities that occur when one is trafficked.  Each day in our Sonoma County community more victims are held hostage and so we take this month of January to honor those survivors of these crimes against humanity that have been dealt them. We use this time to heighten our community’s awareness that Verity and many community partners are committed to ending this crime and to seeing that both traffickers and purchasers are held accountable for what they have done to those they have victimized.

This year Sonoma County’s Human Trafficking Task Force is hosting film events and having billboards placed in strategic parts of our county to both heighten awareness and to bring forth discussion as to how we, as a community, can put an end to this vicious crime and support those survivors to reclaim their lives in dignity and with respect.

Did you know?

Verity  advocates have some important information about trafficking in our county to share with you:

  • Verity worked with over 40 human trafficking victims last year by providing crisis intervention, food, shelter, transportation, referrals and much more.
  • The average age for a victim be forced into the sex industry in Sonoma County is estimated to be between 12-14 years.
  • Victims are usually targeted based on vulnerability. Homelessness, experience in foster care, previous experiences of sexual or domestic violence, and younger age all play a factor in a victim’s susceptibility to being trafficked.
  • Perpetrators or “buyers” come from all walks of life and all sorts of backgrounds. Our advocates have seen engineers, bankers, brew-masters, jewelers, attorneys, photographers, marijuana growers, laborers, and others. We’ve seen married men, fathers, single men, and a son-in-law gifting purchased sex to his father-in-law.


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Board of Supervisors Recognize Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Sonoma Board of Supervisors Meeting

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, Verity, county law enforcement agencies, and other community partners recognize Human Trafficking Awareness month.

At the January 13 Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meeting, January 6 to February 12 was recognized as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Sonoma County. The staff of Verity were there along with many other community agencies, including:

  • Santa Rosa Police Department
  • Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women
  • Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights
  • Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office
  • Sonoma County Human Resources
  • Sonoma County Health Services
  • Sonoma County Human Services
  • Sonoma County Probation Department
  • Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office

Verity’s Alli Brinkerhoff, Victim Advocate, addressed the Board meeting and shared her experiences working with victims of trafficking in Sonoma County.

> Click here to view the Human Trafficking Awareness Month gold resolution agenda item from the Board of Supervisors, which contains a wealth of information about human trafficking resources in Sonoma County.

> Click here to view a video recording of the Board of Supervisors meeting on January 13. The Human Trafficking Awareness Month portion of the video begins at 25:45.

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Buyer Beware

by Shared Hope International

Who are they … the men who buy trafficked children?

You might be surprised – the talented star athlete … the young man who packs your groceries … the father next door….

Whoever they are – wherever they live – you need to know.

Today, because of your support for Shared Hope International, it’s “buyer beware.”

Through our strategic efforts, empowered by the tremendous generosity of friends like you, we have launched a brand-new website, DemandingJustice.org. It:

  • Exposes convicted buyers of sex with minors, state by state – including yours!
  • Brings attention to the injustice that prevails when we fail to confront the real criminal.

America’s youth are at risk because of a simple economic principle – demand for sex acts with children drives the marketplace of exploitation. There must be consequences for the buyer!

It is essential to protecting our youth from becoming prey. It is essential to helping victims find real hope.

Click here to learn more about our nationwide campaign for justice and how you can help us:

  • Bring attention to demand as a result of the website campaign – and hold buyers accountable for their actions.
  • Continue our advocacy in Washington, D.C., pushing for justice and protection for our children.
  • Restore the shattered lives of victimized women and children, the very heart of Shared Hope.

Thank you. God bless you!

Linda Smith



Linda Smith

Founder and President of Shared Hope International

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2014 Human Trafficking Awareness Rally

Verity, along with the District Attorney’s Office, Crossing the Jordan, the Sonoma County Police Department, the Santa Rosa Police Department, the Petaluma Police Department, S.A.Y, Redwood Children’s Center, Homeland Security and the other partners of the Sonoma County Human Task Force joined together on January 15 for the 2014 Human Trafficking Awareness Rally in downtown Santa Rosa.

Speakers for the event included:

  • Jill Ravitch, District Attorney of Sonoma County
  • Shirley Zane, 3rd District Sonoma County Supervisor
  • Chris Mahurin, Detective, Santa Rosa Police Department
  • Mechelle Buchignani, Detective, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office
  • Alli Brinkerhoff, Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, Verity
  • Dana Bryant, Executive Director of Crossing the Jordan

Human Trafficking Awareness Rally5sm

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January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Human Trafficking Awareness Month Schedule of Events

Proclamations/Gold Resolutions

Board of Supervisors Gold Resolution
Tuesday, January 7, 2014. Meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Board of Supervisors Chambers, 575 Administration Drive, Room 105A, Santa Rosa.

City of Santa Rosa Proclamation
Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.
City Hall, 100 Santa Rosa Avenue, Santa Rosa

Sign Making for Rally –  Monday, January 13, 2014 at 3:00 p.m

Sign making will at the Crossing the Jordan’s Facility, located at 2150 Bluebell Dr., Santa Rosa.  All volunteers welcome! If you have high school students, youth organizations, etc. that might be interested, we can create a flyer notifying them of the events that they are welcome to attend and help out!

Supplies Needed for posters & signs: 
Poster boards, Paints, Paint brushes, Pens/markers, Glitter & Glue

Rally in Old Courthouse Square – Wednesday, January 15, 2014

10:00 a.m. – Set up begins
11:00 a.m. – Rally begins
1:00 p.m. – Rally ends / Clean up begins

Speakers will be:
Chris Mahurin, SRPD
Alli Brinkerhoff, Verity
Dana Bryant, Crossing the Jordan
Mechelle Buchignani, Sonoma County Sheriffs Dept.
Jill Ravitch, District Attorney

Volunteers Shifts Available for Rally
Set up (from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.) – 10 Volunteers
During to hand out ribbons & flyers (10:40 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) – 12 Volunteers
Clean up (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.) – 15 Volunteers

Volunteer Contact Info: 
Karen Mahoney Schefer
Legal Secretary, DVSA
Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: 707.565.3286 / Fax: 707.565.2354
Email: karen.schefer@sonoma-county.org

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Not Forgotten Ball

Not Forgotten

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Learn about what's new at Verity, announcements from our partner organizations, and ideas to help you get involved in fighting sexual violence.
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