The following is a news release from Governor Jared Polis' office.
(Statewide) -- January is National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month and the Colorado Human Trafficking Council is working with partners across the state to increase visibility about this hidden crime. Governor Jared Polis has proclaimed that Tuesday, January 11, be commemorated as Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Colorado.
“Human trafficking happens in Colorado and we are determined to promote a statewide culture that does not tolerate and actively works to end this inhumane crime,” said Maria Trujillo, Program Manager and spokesperson for the Council. “It’s important for Colorado residents to understand the facts about all types of human trafficking as misperceptions keep us from recognizing this crime in our communities.”
Human trafficking consists of the denial of a person's human right to freedom and basic dignity through severe exploitation by force, fraud, or coercion for some type of labor, including commercial sex. Human trafficking is a hidden crime and may not be visible or obvious; it is typically misunderstood due to frequently inaccurate and sensationalized portrayals of human trafficking in popular culture.
The state is in the second phase of an award-winning, multi-year campaign to encourage residents to learn more at ThisisHumanTrafficking.com. The campaign focuses on educating people about misperceptions about human trafficking. These myths include:
Myth: All human trafficking is sex trafficking.
Fact: Labor trafficking is highly documented by service organizations in Colorado.
Myth: Human trafficking only happens to women or girls.
Fact: Male survivors of both labor and sex trafficking exist in Colorado.
Myth: Human trafficking victims are usually foreign nationals.
Fact: US citizens can easily fall victim to exploitation when experiencing certain vulnerabilities.
Myth: Victims of human trafficking can just leave their situation.
Fact: The psychological coercion and manipulation of a trafficker creates a very complex dynamic between the trafficker and victim, similar to domestic violence situations. This dynamic makes it difficult for the victim to find a way to leave.
People can see the campaign throughout the state in both English and Spanish on broadcast, digital, social, and outdoor media channels. The Council knows that personal networks are powerful communication tools for increasing awareness and encouraging action, and as a part of the outreach efforts during National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the Council has provided partners across the state with social media materials to flood our networks with the truth during “Takeover Tuesdays.”
If you suspect human trafficking is happening to you, or someone else, leave a tip or connect to services, 24/7 at 866.455.5075 or text 720.999.9724.
This project was supported by federal grant #2020-VA-21-601-00, issued by the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice. © 2021 Office for Victims Programs, CDPS.
About the Colorado Human Trafficking Council
Established by legislation in 2014, the Council operates under the Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, Office for Victims Programs. The Council comprises up to 35 representatives from state and non-government agencies and coordinates statewide anti-human trafficking efforts to better prosecute and prevent trafficking in Colorado. In late 2020, the Council launched a multi-year awareness campaign to educate the public about human trafficking and display resource information for victims. In the campaign’s first year, calls to the hotline increased by 47 percent. For more information about the Council visit The Colorado Human Trafficking Council.