Aspire to Autonomy, Inc., will jost a free, virtual training October 6, 6 to 7:30 p.m. discussing Act 197, the importance of advocacy in the Lehigh Valley, and plans for canvassing October 8.
Local government officials, business owners, activists and concerned citizens should attend this training, but ASPIRE welcomes anyone to join the anti-trafficking movement.
Act 197, or The National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Notification Act, requires certain businesses and establishments in Pennsylvania to promote the national trafficking hotline as a front-line measure for those who may suspect trafficking anonymously and, in a manner, safe for victims. Trafficking victims can also call the hotline.
The law is not being enforced. ASPIRE has created an Act 197 movement, and will begin canvassing in the Lehigh Valley on October 8.
In the Lehigh Valley (Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton area), there are more than 500 businesses that should be posting information about the hotline, including, but not limited to, bars, hotels, motels, establishments that sell alcohol, massage parlors, adult entertainment venues and transportation centers (airports, bus stations, etc.).
In the last two years, 85 confirmed cases of trafficking occurred in a 15-block radius in Allentown. Enforcement of Act 197 could help decrease the amount of trafficking in the Lehigh Valley. Aspire plans to canvas local establishments and educate business owners about committing to a safe and trafficking-free Lehigh Valley.
Once trafficking victims are identified, Aspire can help them connect with community resources, mental health counseling and any other services needed, which can also include addiction services (as traffickers often use drugs to control their victims), finding housing, and steps toward rebuilding an autonomous life.
ASPIRE interns Sarah Cattin (Coatesville, PA), and Taylor Williams (Lehigh Valley, PA) both Master’s of Social Work students and ASPIRE interns, will facilitate the training.
ASPIRE hosted the same training this summer with over 20 participants. Tuesday’s training (October 6) will discuss the Act 197, the importance, and our plan for canvassing on October 8.
For more information about the training visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pathtoautonomy
To join the training: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87597399482
To volunteer, contact Rachel House, ambassador director, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Information provided to TVL by:
Sarah Cattin, BSW – MSW Candidate
Aspire to Autonomy, Inc.