Paul D. Pate
Secretary of State
Des Moines, IA 50319
|OFFICE OF THE IOWA SECRETARY OF STATE|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 10, 2023
MEDIA RELEASE: Secretary Pate encourages Iowans to wear blue on Wednesday to support survivors of human trafficking
DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate is encouraging Iowans to wear blue on Wednesday, January 11 in recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Day. This day is specifically dedicated to increasing awareness and preventing this horrific crime.
Human trafficking occurs when men, women, or children are forced to perform labor services or sexual acts and it happens across the world, including here in Iowa. Trafficking is a crime that can occur behind closed doors, in plain sight, at a workplace, and in any community.
"By wearing blue on Wednesday, January 11, we can show support for survivors of human trafficking and also hopefully open people's eyes to a crime that might be happening in their community," Secretary Pate said. "I challenge you to join us in raising awareness by wearing your blue shirt, tie, socks, or whatever you have on Wednesday."
Secretary Pate's office oversees Iowa's Safe at Home program which provides address confidentiality for survivors of trafficking and other violent crimes. He also launched the Iowa Businesses Against Trafficking initiative in January 2022. It has grown to more than 620 members.
"If we aren't aware of human trafficking-what it is, what it looks like, and what to do-how can we identify those being victimized by it or assist them to freedom, and if we don't help them, who will?" asked Teresa Davidson, CEO of Chains Interrupted, a Cedar Rapids-based organization that focuses on preventing human trafficking and has specific programs to educate organizations and the community at large on the issue.
Iowans wearing blue on Wednesday to raise awareness and show support for survivors of human trafficking are encouraged to post pictures on social media using #HumanTraffickingAwarenessDay and #IowaSAH.
A soundbite is available for your use at this link.