Forum on ending sex trafficking in Tucson at PCC

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Ending sex trafficking inSouthern Arizona will be the topic of a forum of health providers, educators,and law enforcement members.

This meeting, taking placetoday at PCC's Downtown Campus, will be to discuss improving efforts alreadyunderway, and how to make them more effective in helping women get off thestreets.

A similar meeting was heldin the summer of 2013, where the groups learned about how pimps use things likesocial media to lure young women in; or how they use big events to draw a largenumber of people to market women and make money.

The good news for thepublic is that something is actually getting done to put a stop to thetrafficking.  In 2013 a new program –Project Raise – was created.  Thisprogram is conducted by prosecutors, police and support groups sweep areas forwomen caught up in prostitution.

This program brings thewomen in, those with one or two offenses, gets them help for drug abuse, mentalhealth and job skills, things needed to survive.  The idea is to give the women a fresh startinstead of jail time.

Two sweeps were conductedin 2013, and during the second sweep Project Raise helped more than 20women.

The forum today begins at8 a.m. and these topics will be on the table for discussion.

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