Two years ago, the world was introduced to Amanda Forrest's story. She shared her story about what life is like for a victim of human sex trafficking in Idaho. Forrest wants to use her survival story when she was inside the world of human trafficking to aid other victims.
Like other midwestern states, Idaho is a rural state that at times is easy to pass through undetected. For this reason it's a hub for human trafficking. We know sex trafficking is an issue for this state, as was quoted in the article by President of the Idaho Coalition for Justice Kim Peake who supports Forrest’s grassroots efforts to educate and empower others. On the local level, Forrest’s new Idaho-based organization is called Oceans, which she hopes will be able to reach out to community partners to fight against human trafficking in Idaho. She desires to form a task force that works together to help victims and prosecute the buyers and the traffickers.
“We are aiming for a survivor centered approach,” said Forrest. “We need to provide survivors with tools they need to exit and reconstruct their lives, things like new survival skills and techniques.” This sentiment is echoed by Selah Freedom, as our organization continually works to empower survivors and is grateful to have several survivor graduates of our program now on staff. We believe that including survivor voices as a part of the solution is paramount in fighting sex trafficking.
Selah Freedom applauds the efforts of Forrest and all of those working to end human trafficking especially during this time when we have transitioned to virtual trainings due to COVID-19. Our virtual training program, Sex, Lies & Media is an online training (available for teens and interveners) which helps participants learn to identify the red flags and methods of predators online, know what apps to look out for, and provides practical tips regarding how to talk about this subject as a family and how to take action if you suspect “sextorcion” or recruiting attempts. It also helps participants discover the power of their own voice to speak up against abuse. Learn more at www.selahfreedom.com/events.