GREAT FALLS — On Saturday afternoon at the Alliance For Youth facility in Great Falls, The Sober Life hosted a luncheon to empower women and educate them on how they can stay safe.
The Sober Life is a non-profit organization that provides community support for addiction and abuse recovery. During Saturday's event, they came together to discuss topics including abuse, addiction, and human trafficking.
Shanna Bulik-Chism, president of the Northcentral Montana Human Trafficking & MMIP Task Force, says these issues are important to discuss because of how prevalent they are in the state of Montana.
“It was something that we really figured out needed to happen here in Great Falls, we needed to have a trafficking task force, we needed to be basically looking for and trying to identify people who are being trafficked or potentially being lured into trafficking situations,” said Builk-Chism.
The Women’s Empowerment Luncheon featured a presentation on human trafficking issues and included a demonstration of some self-defense maneuvers.
They also had women that are still in recovery from various forms of trauma share testimonials.
Lea Wetzel, the woman responsible for the Women’s Empowerment Luncheon, got the inspiration for the event after going through her own journey of recovery.
“I’m just kind of following my heart and trying to be that voice for family members and everybody that has lost somebody and has been through traumatic experiences,” said Wetzel.
Lunch for the event was catered by Great Falls restaurant Five On Black.