Human Trafficking: Speak Out, Save a Life

By Theresa Racine

January 11 is Human Trafficking Awareness Day. This day is supposed to be a day to spread awareness on human trafficking and the efforts behind it.

The human trafficking national hotline has the most extensive data on record. They say the last recorded date is November 15, 2022, where in the United States alone, they identified 82,301 cases with 164,309 victims impacted by human trafficking. What everyone needs to be aware of is that it can happen to any one of us at any time. Human Trafficking is one of the most horrific crimes and there are so many aspects to this crime: organ trafficking, sex trafficking, and labor trafficking. It is happening in our own backyards, possibly your next-door neighbor’s house, a nail salon, or in surrounding hotels.

These are just some of the signs to identify a human trafficking victim: hungry, malnourished, sexual diseases, bruises, addictions or the person is with someone who seems very controlling. Someone I know said he was coming into work one day up on Mott Ave. He was on the train and this young lady started to get harassed by someone, who told her, “When we get home, I’m going to do what I always do, to beat you.” Then when the train stopped, she went to get up and he threw her to the floor and said, “You only get up when I tell you to get up.” This is a prime example of what happens.

The NYPD is beginning a “Save a Life Campaign.” We have been asked, as a community, to partner with our officers and participate in the NYPD strategy session (scheduled on January 30). The vice units and local partners are available to lead enforcement efforts in your community ( You can find those dates with your local precinct.

This month, several organizations have partnered up, including, The Queens Community Justice Center- The Rockaways, Saint Rose of Lima Church, and The Child Center of NY, for the first of its kind campaign to make our neighborhood aware of the evils of human trafficking by bringing the movie “Sound of Freedom,” free of charge to the community at two events. This 2023 PG-13 film tells the true story of Tim Ballard’s involvement in trying to save children who had been sold into child trafficking. Each event will include resources, speakers and the screening.

The first screening will be at The Child Center of NY, Ocean Bay Cornerstone (57-10 Beach Channel Drive) on Friday, January 19 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Before this event on Friday, there will also be a self-defense class led by Moises Reyes from the Queens Justice Community Center- The Rockaways, for up to 20 people. If interested in the class, you must RSVP to:

The second screening will take place at Saint Rose of Lima Catholic School (154 Beach 84th Street) on Saturday, January 20, in the auditorium from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Additionally, before the screenings, we have a forum that will be taking place on January 17 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at The Queens Community Justice Center. We have limited seating for this event, so get there early. We will have a presentation at the event to educate the community about human trafficking. There will also be a period of question and answers for questions from the community. Chief Jessica Melton of District Attorney Melinda Katz’s office will be giving a presentation and will also participate in the forum. We have The New Day Treatment Center, The Red Cross, and from the NYPD 101 Precinct, LT Amy Capogna-Major from the case section on hand to provide resources. These events are meant to educate and spread awareness.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline can be reached at 1-888-373-7888. If you see something, say something. We hope to see you all at the forum and/or movie screenings. Please RSVP by email to:

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