Western Slope Against Trafficking

Our Mission at Western Slope Against Trafficking:
To reduce and prevent human trafficking through outreach and partnerships with key community organizations.

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About Us

We are Western Slope Against Trafficking

                We are an Anti-Trafficking Organization based out of the Western Slope of Colorado. Western Slope Against Trafficking is a collaborative effort to bring awareness and education concerning the threat of human trafficking on the western slope. As a non profit, we work alongside larger organizations to assist in finding resources for victims of human trafficking as well as educate the public dispel any confusion surrounding trafficking.

                Our organization has its roots in labor trafficking and Spanish affairs. Organization member Tom Acker has been instrumental in Hispanic community outreach. As president of the Hispanic affairs outreach, he is a vital part of assisting in Spanish translations.

                In 2010, a former sheep herder invited Tom Acker to interview some workers. Acker was able to facilitate interactions between responsible parties and the workers.  This allowed them to write and publish, “Over -worked and Under-Paid” a summary of a survey conducted by Colorado Legal Services. This Summary described the deplorable working and living conditions of the sheepherders.

            The language barrier between workers and services is one of many vulnerabilities that can make someone more likely to be trafficked. Human trafficking disproportionately affects marginalized communities.

                “Globally, we'll call it marginalization whatever separates you from either your own community, or the larger community, makes you vulnerable because you don't have access to many things you're kind of unprotected. And that's what contributes to vulnerability so absolutely not being able to speak the language is definitely going to contribute to vulnerable vulnerability regarding human trafficking, Tom Acker said.

                Since the initial case with the sheepherders, WSAT has grown and expanded. We have deep roots in the western slope; Our members vary from a public health nurse to a university professor. Several of those members have been trained in identifying human trafficking. In 2015 one of our members was invited to sit on the Colorado Human Trafficking Council.

                Another member of WSAT is Angela Clark. Angela does trainings for schools and businesses that are interested in learning about human trafficking, as well as mindfulness trainings. She is a survivor of human trafficking and has been an active member of the survivor’s community in Colorado.

                “Once you get help, once we figure out how to ask for help that we makes you know, huge strides in our journey. And it's when we I resisted asking for help I didn't really know what resources were out there,” Clark said.

                Human trafficking is not only a problem on the Western Slope but also worldwide. This may seem like a daunting problem to tackle. The most effective way to create change is to start at home, to start in Grand Junction. By keeping the public educated and aware of human trafficking on the western slope, we can work as a community to end human trafficking.

                To learn more about human trafficking and what you can do to help, contact us through our Facebook page, or email us to learn more about coming to one of our meetings.

 

Learn more about what its like to be on the WSAT team by listening to the podcast below.

 
 

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