Across the United States, children from all communities are being exploited before, during, and after school, regardless of socio-economic class, race, gender, and religion. The average age of these victims is only 12–15 years old. To help reduce the threat in the Purcellville area, the Purcellville Police Department will host a Community Conversation on November 3 from 7:00–8:30 PM in partnership with Anti-Trafficking International (ATI).
How You Can Stop Human Trafficking Before It Starts will be free and open to the public at Purcellville’s Town Hall and via livestream. Bill Woolf and Priscilla Hatfield will address the common methods human traffickers use to groom and trick their victims, how to identify the warning signs of a person being targeted or exploited, and what community members can do to help stop this crisis. A Q&A session will follow. Mr. Woolf is the founder and current Chief Operations Officer of ATI, and Ms. Hatfield is a member of the Student Advisory Council, an ATI program committed to strengthening the voices of youth and to enhancing awareness of teen sex trafficking by empowering teen leaders and promoting youth projects.
ATI aims to leverage the resources of community leaders, teachers, parents, local businesses, health care workers, and law enforcement officials to stop human trafficking before it starts. To date, ATI has reached over 250,000 students annually with prevention programming, educated over 25,000 frontline professionals such as hotel and airline workers, and provided advanced training to more than 5,000 law enforcement officers to recognize the signs of human trafficking. ATI recently launched the National Human Trafficking Intelligence Center (NHTIC) with technology partner ShotSpotter to help law enforcement recover trafficking victims and bring their traffickers to justice expediently.