COLUMBUS — Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday announced 11 organizations will receive over $1.3 million in grants to develop and implement human trafficking prevention programs across Ohio — Gallia and Meigs counties were included.
According to a news release from DeWine’s office, the grants are from a collaboration between the Governor’s Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund (OCTF), and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ (ODJFS) Children’s Justice Act Task Force. The programs will assist minors who are victims or at-risk for human trafficking and professionals that serve minor victims, and will expand human trafficking prevention education, direct intervention services, and training to minors at risk of victimization.
Receiving $80,000 is the Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program which reportedly serves Gallia, Meigs, Athens, Hocking, Perry, Vinton and Morgan counties.
“Human trafficking is a reprehensible crime that has devastating effects on its survivors,” said Gov. DeWine. “These grants show our continued commitment to help protect those most vulnerable to human trafficking and will provide additional support to professionals on the front line.”
Because of these programs, community members, professionals, families, and at-risk youth across Ohio will receive much-needed human trafficking prevention services, outreach, and advocacy, according to the news release.
“These organizations are working to close service area gaps across the state and deliver critical multi-tiered services to support vulnerable youth and the adults who are responsible for their safety and well-being,” explained OCTF Executive Director Lindsay Williams. “I commend their tenacity and commitment to lead or join forces with their local human trafficking coalitions while providing more coordinated, educational, and culturally relevant services to help prevent human trafficking throughout Ohio.”
“Human Trafficking Awareness Day provides an important opportunity for Ohioans to take a collective stand against the exploitation of men, women and children,” said Maria Busch, State Anti-Trafficking Coordinator. “The state is dedicated to empowering local leaders and advocates with the resources they need to prevent and respond to human trafficking in their communities.”
To learn more about Ohio’s anti-trafficking efforts, visit humantrafficking.ohio.gov. If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, help is available by calling 888-373-7888 or by texting INFO or HELP to 233733.