By Gina Duncan St. James, Marietta, Commission Lay Representative
The diocesan Commission on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking is offering free, in-depth, three-hour trainings within the Diocese of Atlanta to educate our parishes on the issue of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST). DMST is the commercial sexual exploitation of American children within U.S. borders. It is “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act” where the minor is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. (Trafficking Victims Protection Act, 2000) DMST is a growing problem in the U.S., with our urban and rural communities within the Diocese of Atlanta being ranked one of the top sex trafficking destinations in our country.
The DMST trainings will be provided throughout the summer and fall of 2016 by Georgia Cares, the single statewide coordinating agency for the treatment and care of DMST victims in Georgia. The three-hour training can also serve as two contact hours for clergy participants.
As invested community members, this training will educate you on research related to DMST; the victimization of these children; trafficking statistics in Georgia; and will prepare you to spread awareness and teach others.
This training will be interactive and engaging with activities, videos and discussion around the epidemic of DMST. Trainings will be customized to provide data specific to each convocation. The goals of the training are:
● Increase understanding of DMST and human trafficking as a whole
● Understand the trauma, abuse and victimization caused by DMST
● Understand manipulation tactics used by traffickers
● Become familiar with warning signs that trafficking victims might display
● Increase knowledge of community intervention and services available to victims
● Learn about how to get involved in the fight against DMST
The Commission on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking serves as a body of concerned lay and clergy representatives who provide resources to, network with and propose appropriate actions and/or legislation for parishes and other organizations to end the sex trafficking of minors.
Join us to learn what you can do to make an impact! Trainings are free but registration is required. If you are interested in attending a training in your convocation, contact your rector about the dates and locations.
For more information on how to provide trainings and speakers to your parish or convocation, email the Chair of the Commission on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking, Debbie Bruno Betstill at firstname.lastname@example.org.