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January declared Human Trafficking & Stalking Awareness Month with awareness events planned

Saturday, January 12, 2024 - Sequoyah County Sheriff's Department investigator, Cindy Smith, presented two proclamations to county commissioners earlier this month, asking them to declare January as Human Trafficking and Stalking Awareness Month.

The commissioners approved and signed the proclamations as they thanked Smith and her team for all the work they put into bringing awareness to Sequoyah County and surrounding areas.

Smith said, "Public awareness and outreach efforts play a vital role in creating a well-informed and engaged community that actively contributes to the prevention, detection, and response to human trafficking.”

Several events have been scheduled for the month to assist Smith with her efforts to create awareness regarding human trafficking and stalking.

“The entire community is invited to participate in these events. Your involvement not only raises awareness but also supports initiatives that work towards preventing and addressing these serious issues. Together, we can create a safer and more secure environment for everyone,” Smith added.

The first event takes place on January 18. The Stalking Prevention and Resource Center (SPARC) recently announced the first-ever National Day of Action for Stalking Awareness, in memory of Peggy Klinke, whose stalker brutally murdered her.

Klinke had a sparkling personality, so everyone is invited to send a photo with friends, family, or co-workers wearing something that sparkles. All photos can be sent to 918-315-8592 and will be uploaded on the Sequoyah County Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Response Team's Facebook page.

Next, a Human Trafficking Awareness online presentation covering labor trafficking titled “Hidden in Plain Sight" takes place on January 22 from 6-7 p.m. The link for the presentation can be found on the Sequoyah County Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Response Team's Facebook page.

Lastly, a Human Trafficking Awareness Traffic Jam 2.0 will be held at J&D's Cowtown on January 27 from 6–10 p.m. This is an evening of karaoke to assist in bringing awareness to human trafficking victims and survivors. Human trafficking t-shirts, along with food and drinks, will be on hand and available to purchase.

In addition, there will be a door prize and a prize for the best karaoke act. It is important to note that this is an 18+ event.

These events not only contribute to spreading awareness but also create opportunities for the community to actively participate and engage in the fight against human trafficking and stalking.

Lindsie Dyer, KXMX Staff Writer

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