Bike Ride raises awareness of human trafficking and shines a light on the voices of survivors of trafficking on Long Island
The annual ECPAT-USA Survivor Solidarity Ride event raises awareness of the reality that child trafficking occurs in every state across the country.
The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and ECPAT-USA, the nation’s leading child sex trafficking organization, hosted the second annual Suffolk County Survivor Solidarity Run on Monday, May 31, 2021. C ‘ was the first time the event had taken place on Long Island. .
The annual ECPAT-USA Survivor Solidarity Ride event raises awareness of the reality that child trafficking occurs in every state across the country. The event highlights places where survivors have indicated they have been trafficked and where reports of child exploitation have been reported as a symbol of those who support survivors of trafficking through the country.
This year, the journey began in the morning at Riverhead Correctional Institution and proceeded east through East Quogue to the Shinnecock Reservation, where participants met with leaders and activists to en learn more about the movement that attacks and raises awareness of the epidemic of violence and exploitation against Indigenous women and children.
The riders then returned to Riverhead, where leaders of the Empowerment Collaborative of Long Island (ECLI) and officials from the Sheriff’s Office joined with attendees from the Suffolk County Sheriff to talk about what is being done to resolve this issue. problem specifically in Long Island.
Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon said: “Human trafficking is a common and underreported problem in Suffolk County and Long Island and we need to work harder as a community to educate people. on this heinous crime, the signs of victimization and intervene aggressively when victims are identified. Victims of sex trafficking are essentially enslaved by violent means and sold to customers in motels and private homes on Long Island and around the world. I have no doubt that there are many “Johns” who are unaware of the devastating and dehumanizing effect this sex trade has on the women and men they engage with, but it is criminal, traumatic and it must stop. I applaud ECPAT-USA for their efforts in combating human trafficking and child exploitation and I am honored to have my staff on board with the Solidarity Riders today.
Lori L. Cohen, CEO of ECPAT-USA, said: “People often perceive human trafficking as something that cannot happen in their own communities. The Survivor Solidarity Ride is an opportunity to make the voice of survivors heard and to raise awareness of how local the problem of trafficking is. We are extremely grateful to the members of the Shinnecock Reservation, ECLI and Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department for helping to facilitate the second year of this moving event and to all the organizations and individuals working to protect children. and terminate operations on Long Island.
The Empowerment Collaborative of Long Island’s Survivor Advisory Board said: “As survivors of human trafficking, we know the profound daily effects it has had on our lives. We were victims of children and later as young adults we were victims We had no control over our lives for years and even years later we still struggle to overcome the things that hold us back. have arrived. This is why it is so important to be a member of the ECLI Survivors Advisory Council. We have become a support system for each other and made it our mission to educate the community. We want to provide safe havens for other survivors. We turned our pain into a goal and a passion to help others like us. Human trafficking is a huge problem. problem here on Long Island and it’s in our own backyards. Our message to survivors who feel stuck in this way of life is: have HOPE, hold on because the pain stops, you are not alone and we are here to help. “
“The Suffolk County Anti-Trafficking Initiative (SCATI) is honored to be part of ECPAT-USA’s 2021 Survivor Solidarity Race,” said Molly England, SCATI Task Force Coordinator. “SCATI is dedicated to collaborative work and holistic efforts to raise awareness of anti-trafficking in our community and together, through community events like this one we can have a huge impact on educating individuals. and uplifting our communities. Shedding light on human trafficking is the first step towards supporting survivors of human trafficking.
“The Survivor Solidarity Ride is a great opportunity to show support for victims of human trafficking while raising awareness of this issue,” said Detective Lt. Frank Messana, Trafficking Investigation Unit Commander human beings of the BPSD. “The Suffolk County Police Department continues to work with community organizations to provide victims with stability and assistance as we target traffickers to end victimization.