When you hear the term “human trafficking” or “sex trafficking,” the state of Wisconsin may not immediately come to mind. But sex and forced labor trafficking happens in every corner of the world — the Midwest included. Trafficking is also difficult to track because it’s a shadowy enterprise, and it’s likely reports of trafficking are underreported in general.
According to the Human Trafficking Institute, in 2020, 94% of trafficking cases nationwide were sex trafficking cases, and 6% were forced labor cases. In 2019, Wisconsin ranked sixth in the nation for the number of new criminal trafficking cases reported, at six cases that year.
United Madison, a cause-marketing nonprofit that connects the media with other area nonprofits and businesses around specific causes, has made their issue of focus this year on human trafficking. In addition to an April educational event they are hosting, they are asking businesses to donate toward an ongoing awareness campaign on human trafficking. The money raised will go toward area nonprofits who help human trafficking survivors, as well as supporting the ongoing awareness campaign, which includes public service announcements, social media posts and articles. (BRAVA Magazine is a supporter of this initiative as well).
Area organizations that have already collaborated with United Madison on this issue and provided their expertise include: the Madison Police Department, Project Respect, Every Daughter, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, Zeteo Community Homes, Briarpatch, Slave Free Madison, the Rape Crisis Center, Damascus Project, Abolition Wisconsin and the YMCA.
To donate to this cause, please visit unitedmadison.com/trafficking-initiative.