Posted by Heather Rutz on Feb 15, 2018
Human trafficking is a global issue with local response.
Human trafficking is happening here in the Lima community, as well as across the country, and it takes many forms, said Kathryn Farmer, with Crime Victim Services of Allen and Putnam Counties.
Farmer, Rape Crisis, Prevention, Human Trafficking Director with the agency, marked Human Trafficking Awareness Month by speaking with Lima Rotary Club about how people become victims of human trafficking and the various reasons people are trafficked.
Crime Victim Services has worked with more than 100 survivors of trafficking since 2012. Globally, more than 40 million people are trafficked, with 70 percent being women and children. Some people are victims of sex trafficking, while others are victims of labor trafficking, such as working long hours without pay in hotels or nail salons. Many times people are victims of fraud: They are sold a story about a job or education, but when they arrive in a new country, they are forced into labor and sex acts, Farmer said.
The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act defines “severe forms of trafficking in persons” as:
a. sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or,
b. the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or ob­taining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Farmer talked about the difficulty of victims leaving their situations, even in the rare circumstances that they are able. Trafficking victims suffer significant brain trauma, and it affects their decision making. Certain parts of the brain shut down, and the part that remains functioning is much more about how to survive at a basic level day to day, she said.
Northwest Ohio is fortunate to have so many agencies working in partnership to address the issue, both in trying to stop it, provide a law enforcement response to it, and providing support for victims, Farmer said.
Crime Victim Services (CVS) is a United Way based victim support program. CVS began in 1981 in Allen County as the second Victim Offender Mediation Program in the U.S., expanding to comprehensive victim services in 1985. The Putnam County office began in 1990, and is Ohio's only county with all victim services at one facility.  The Family Justice Center for domestic violence victims in Putnam County opened in 2007.
For assistance in Allen County call 1-877-867-7273 or visit
In other Rotary business:
David Runk presented Dr. Susan Hubbell with a Paul Harris plus two status.
Lima Rotary Foundation presented $5,000 to MESA, $2,500 to Allen Lima Youth Leadership, and $1,000 to Family Promise of Lima/Allen County.