An anti-human trafficking initiative, spearheaded by the Governor’s office, has encouraged several parishes across the state to host community summits on the issue.
The latest summit was held in Lafayette Parish. As of 2017, there are 681 confirmed human trafficking cases in Louisiana. After a summit held in Lafayette, local agencies realized there is currently no place for these victims in Lafayette to turn to besides the police station and juvenile, in terms of bed or a safe place.
This encouraged the idea of building an anti-human trafficking task force. Under the governor’s initiative, nine summits gave information and dialogue among stakeholders on what’s happening and how individual parishes can pick up the torch. This led Hearts of Hope to strategize and create a response training seminar. Hearts of Hope sexual assault response team coordinator, Teressa LeDay says this will help the community learn how to address the problem.
“We’re streamlining that passion so that objectives are determined early-on and so that we have providers that are able to do those things and been doing those things like hearts of hope, we work with faith house, the domestic violence center to make sure everyone knows that it’s not new. This idea of human trafficking. But we really need to streamline how we’re going to address.”
Law enforcement and surrounding agencies will have a response training seminar that will focus on MDT development, case staffing, community response team development and community barriers. This is taking place Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Complex between 1-4 p.m.