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Annual SCV Human Trafficking Summit urges businesses to support employed survivors

From Sept. 24-27, the Santa Clarita Valley Human Trafficking Committee hosted its annual Trafficking Summit through Zoom, instead of setting up at College of the Canyons due to concerns over COVID-19. The committee aims to educate the SCV about human trafficking and how to help spread awareness of the danger it has towards the public. 

The Trafficking Summit spent its final day explaining ways business are able to help employed survivors of human trafficking. One idea that guest speaker Sarah Gonzalez Bocinski from Futures Without Violence suggested would be to start with how employers treat staff who have had traumatic experiences. 

“Safety is the foundation. If a person cannot feel safe, they can’t engage in education, take risks, ask questions or properly communicate at work,” said Bocinski during the seminar. “When they don’t have trust or transparency, people are more likely to fill the blanks with ill will, often through miscommunication.”

But the feeling of safety won’t only benefit single individuals who survived traumatic experiences. Todd Scott, Human Resources Director at Battery Systems Inc. believes that the trusted environment would help businesses in general. 

“You’re working with a group of people every day that may have had those experiences, and if you put in good practices, you are able to lift that workforce,” said Scott during the seminar. “Talking about those subjects to corporations will help make the workforce not only more profitable, but more human.”

College of the Canyons has been working with organizations such as ZOE and its My Gen My Fight program for the past few years in order to educate the SCV and COC students on the dangers of human trafficking through classes and seminars.

For more information on ZOE and their mission to fight human trafficking, visit their official website at https://gozoe.org/.

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