Cass County Board: Sex trafficking discussion with teens planned
WALKER--Lynnette Dirks, Support Within Reach Walker office representative, informed the Cass County Board Tuesday about an upcoming film and panel discussion on sex trafficking being planned for teens age 13 and older April 26 and 27 at Hackensack.
WALKER-Lynnette Dirks, Support Within Reach Walker office representative, informed the Cass County Board Tuesday about an upcoming film and panel discussion on sex trafficking being planned for teens age 13 and older April 26 and 27 at Hackensack.
Support Within Reach is a sexual violence resource center.
The two-night program will be presented at Bear Pause Theater. Doors will open at 5 p.m. The programs will begin at 6 p.m. Admission is free.
Dirks said the goal is to inform teenage girls and boys about how to avoid being drawn into sex trafficking or an abusive relationship and to inform anyone who has suffered from sexual violence about resources in Cass County available to help them.
Most young people do not realize how vulnerable they can be to being drawn into a trafficking situation, Dirks said. One of the panel members was active in her school until she got drawn into a situation from which she struggled for a year to free herself.
Chris Swenson, Family Safety Network director, told the commissioners she is seeing an increased number of people who have traded sex for a place to stay for the night or for a meal.
Sands of Silence, Waves of Courage is the name of the film being presented. It is about the life of a girl who got drawn into a trafficking situation.
Those who will speak at the second night panel discussion include Chelo Alvarez-Stehle, director of the film; Katie Pierson, Minnesota Girls Not for Sale; Jeanine Brand, assistant Cass County Attorney; Chris Swenson, Family Safety Network; Sheriff Tom Burch; Sid Marlette, Pregnancy Support Center; Sara Collins, Northwest Navigator; and a girl who was a victim of trafficking and now is an advocate for victims.
Linnea Dietrich, Hackensack, will use some of the profits from her bread baking business to co-sponsor the events. She is a therapist and retired owner of Birch Lake Counseling in Hackensack.
She has a website, oneloafatatime.org, which gives more information about the events.
Anyone who has questions about these programs can contact Dirks at 218-547-4892, Swenson at 218-547-1636 or Dietrich at 612-810-3407.