February 5, 2019
MISSOULA – The Missoula Human Trafficking Task Force unveiled its new poster campaign Tuesday morning aboard ASUM buses on the University of Montana campus.
“For the past nine months, our task force and particularly our prevention committee has worked on an awareness campaign. So today we are rolling out these amazing posters that are highlighting the indicators and signs of both labor and sex trafficking,” said Missoula Human Trafficking Task Force Chair Kat Werner.
Montana might not experience the amount of human trafficking as in larger areas, but it is still a problem that affects Big Sky Country.
“Human trafficking happens everywhere,” Werner said. “It can happen to anybody, and so I think educating students who can obviously spread awareness and knowledge and then also make sure that people who are in need of resources know where to go to, we thought, that was really important.”
Multiple posters represent the different aspects of human trafficking the task force is trying to bring awareness to, such as how to recognize if it’s going on right in front of you and what to do to stop it.
“So we really thought about how does human trafficking present, particularly in Montana, and who are the vulnerable populations that are affected and so there are a couple of posters that point to the common recruiting techniques. So, for example, jobs or promises for better jobs, so we are kind of hinting at that. We are also looking at missing and murdered indigenous woman, which is particularly an issue in our state, of course.”
Linking the ongoing problem of MMIW in the state gives it a new platform to reach new people and build awareness about one of the state’s biggest human trafficking issues.
“I don’t think you can really discuss one without the other. So the fact that I’ve been able to couple and partner with Missoula Human Trafficking Victim Task Force, it’s been kind of giving me the opportunity to speak in or learn and discuss my work in an environment that people might be more receptive to the first time, because it kind of effects everyone,” filmmaker Ivan MacDonald said.
UM President Seth Bodnar also stopped by to issue his support.