Eyes Up Appalachia Fund
Human Trafficking is the use of force, fraud or coercion to compel a person into commercial sex acts or labor/services against their will. But when you talk to victims, they don’t see it that way. They see it as their fault. They see it as something they grew up with – it is not human trafficking, it just is. They see it as a way to get drugs. They see it as something within their family and the shame and stigma keep them from labeling it. Or they even see it as something they chose to do so they are not at someone else’s mercy. But that does not change the fact that they are a victim of human trafficking.
The individuals that are trafficked often have underlying vulnerabilities such as poverty, marginalization, lack of education or economic opportunity, mental health concerns or substance abuse. Unfortunately, these vulnerabilities are found throughout Appalachian Ohio. Recruitment becomes easier when these exist as the trafficker uses them as leverage. Eyes Up Appalachia was formed with the intent to educate the community on exactly what human trafficking is (and what it is not!), how to recognize it, and what to do if you see it. But even more importantly, helping to prevent it, by teaming with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio and working with communities that support these vulnerable populations.
If we can provide a short Intro to Human Trafficking presentation, coordinate with specialized training or workshops, or join with your organization on a project, please reach out to our team. To learn more about human trafficking in Appalachian Ohio, check out the Health Recovery Services interview with Eyes Up Appalachia Founder, Christi Scott Bartman, and Reggie Robinson.
Gifts to Eyes Up Appalachia Fund are tax deductible. Donations can be made online here. To mail your donation, please designate the Eyes Up Appalachia Fund and mail to the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, PO Box 456, Nelsonville, OH 45764.
Eyes Up Appalachia does not provide services. If you need immediate assistance, call the Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “BeFree” 233733.