Lehigh Valley Anti-Trafficking Week 2022
Valley Youth House is a proud founding member of the Lehigh Valley Anti-Trafficking Collaborative and participant of Lehigh Valley Anti-Trafficking Week. The mission of LVAT is to abolish human trafficking in our community by building a united front to educate and equip our community to take action. This year’s Lehigh Valley Anti-Trafficking Week will take place November 4th through November 10th.
Lehigh Valley Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness Week is a seven-day awareness campaign, held during the first week of November. The campaign provides an opportunity to raise awareness of human trafficking and modern slavery, and encourage government, local authorities, companies, charities, and individuals to do what they can to address the problem.
Schedule of Events:
- Visual Voices Art Expo November 4th, 6pm-9pm at the Banana Factory, survivors will have their photo voice projects on display as their “visual voices”, photo voice will deepen understanding of the issues faced by trafficking and glimpse into their hearts and minds.
- Candlelit Vigil November 7th from 6pm-7:30pm at the Emmaus Remembrance Garden We will be honoring and remembering survivors we have both lost or have not found their way. Some survivors will be speaking written pieces they have composed.
- The Human Trafficking Symposium Wednesday November 9th 9am-2:30pm, Training and conversation on human trafficking. This event is FREE to students! The link to attend and more details is here: https://whennow.com/
- Survivor’s Award Brunch – Thursday, November 10th, 10 AM, Folino’s Estate: The Lehigh Valley Anti-Trafficking (LVAT) Week Collaborative is holding its Survivor’s Award Brunch to celebrate and commemorate survivor leaders in the Lehigh Valley who help make a difference in the lives of others. The keynote speaker is Charel Murrel, the Director of Training and Partnerships at My Life My Choice, Boston, Massachusetts. REGISTER HERE
- Red Sand Projects and Coffeehouse Conversations, including a Panera fundraiser are occurring in various locations throughout the week- please see the website for more information!
More about Lehigh Valley Anti-Trafficking Week from Valley Youth House’s Alycha Boehm, MSW, LSW, Clinical Supervisor:
Q: What is LVAT (Lehigh Valley Anti-Trafficking) Week?:
A: Lehigh Valley Anti-Trafficking Awareness week is a non-profit organization 501(c)3 that plans and organizes a seven-day awareness campaign. In 2019 the executives of Lehigh and Northampton counties declared the first full week of November as Lehigh Valley Anti-Trafficking Week. The campaign provides an opportunity to raise awareness of human trafficking and modern slavery, and encourage government, local authorities, companies, charities, and individuals to do what they can to address the problem.
Q: What is Human Trafficking and why is it so important in our community?
A: Human trafficking is defined by any individual exchanging sex for income, housing, food, other basic needs or materials through the use of force, fraud or coercion. Any youth under 18 is considered sexually exploited or trafficked if they have had to exchange sex for money or needs. Human trafficking is extremely prevalent in our community in ways that make it easy to be missed. Trafficking survivors are often missed in the system and can easily fall through the cracks and remain invisible. There are limited services in the community to support survivors in leaving “the life” and provide them with alternate safe resources for mental health and housing.
Q: Who is involved in LVAT?
A: The Lehigh Valley Anti-Trafficking Collaborative is composed of several social justice organizations dedicated to fighting the fight on the front lines. The founding organizations of the Collaborative include Aspire to Autonomy, Bethlehem Rotary, Bloom Bangor, Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley, Valley Health Partners Street Medicine, Marsy’s Law, Truth For Women, VAST (The Valley Against Sex Trafficking), and Valley Youth House.
For more information, visit: www.LVAntiTraffickingWeek.com.