January 23, 2020

Mayor Proclaims Human Trafficking Awareness Day January 24



Council member Becky Drury will share

proclamation at Friday afternoon event

RAPID CITY, SD--Mayor Steve Allender and City officials are placing a spotlight on the problem of human trafficking.  Mayor Allender is proclaiming tomorrow (Friday) as Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Rapid City, encouraging the community to become more aware and involved in ending this human rights violation.

            Rapid City Council member Becky Drury will represent the City and share the mayoral proclamation at Friday's Freedom Expo 2020 hosted by Freedom's Journey of Rapid City.  The free event will be held from 4:30-7 p.m. at the Hotel Alex Johnson (see attached proclamation).

            Human trafficking occurs when an adult, child or infant is forcibly recruited, harbored or transported for the purpose of involuntary exploitation, commercialized sexual exploitation, slavery, illicit adoption, removal of organs or forced labor services.  It is estimated 40 million people are affected worldwide, including an estimated 10 million children.  The National Human Trafficking Hotline statistics for 2018 in South Dakota identified 38 victims, 15 traffickers and 13 trafficking businesses and the Hotline has reported more than 300 calls from people in South Dakota since 2007.

            "Law enforcement has increased efforts to investigate, prosecute and curb human trafficking in South Dakota, which is vulnerable due to trafficking on interstate highways, due to high demand, due to vulnerable population groups and due to internet advertising," reads Mayor Allender's proclamation.

            The South Dakota Victims' Services Program funds shelters, including Working Against Violence, Inc. in Rapid City, that provide numerous services to victims of violent crimes including human trafficking. These services include therapy; safe shelter with food, clothing, travel assistance and crisis counseling; advocacy through the criminal justice system; and assistance with identifying community resources like housing, medical assistance and job training. More information can be found at

            The proclamation affirms Rapid City's commitment to the principles of freedom outlined in the Victims of Human Trafficking and Violence Protection Act and supported by laws in the United States and South Dakota. For more information visit https://dps.sd.gov/victims-services/victims-assistance-program/human-trafficking.

                Friday's Freedom Expo will include a panel of experts discussing human trafficking; information on human trafficking in the region; helpful information on how to reduce the risk and not become a victim of human trafficking; what are possible indicators of human trafficking, and Freedom Journey's efforts to help victims and survivors, among other topics.


Thank you,

Darrell W. Shoemaker | Communications Coordinator

T: 605.721.6686 | M: 605.939.8551

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W: www.rcgov.org

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