Friday, September 24, 2021

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New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

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The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

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A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Human Trafficking Also a Focus in CT

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Thursday, April 15, 2021   

HARTFORD, Conn. - A Connecticut group that aids victims of human trafficking is speaking out about the role that sexual violence plays in this crime. It's hoping to bring more attention to the deadly connection during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

According to the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants, sexual assault can occur in any form of trafficking. Leonela Cruz, director of CIRI's Project Rescue, works with labor and sex-trafficking survivors and highlighted the similar dynamics of trafficking and sexual assault.

"It's that ongoing power, that control, that abuse that they maintain over that human being, the exploitation of the human being," she said, "and it's really important to remember that; it could be verbal, it could be physical."

Immigrants, people in the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities are among the groups most often targeted by traffickers, according to Freedom Networks USA.

Cruz cited Connecticut projects such as a rapid rehousing program as one of several ways CIRI and other local organizations are working to help survivors. She said getting housing for survivors is a vital step to getting them to a better place overall.

"If we can fix that housing situation, make sure that they are on that path to become self sufficient - be able to pay the rent - then we can begin building on the other things, in hopes that they are able to do this on their own once their service period is over," she said.

Cruz emphasized that conversations about human trafficking and sexual assault need to continue past this month. The National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached anytime at 1-800-656-4673. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888.


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