Men against sex trafficking forum

By KBJR News 1

October 14, 2013 Updated Oct 14, 2013 at 10:31 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Following a recent string of sex trafficking cases across the area, more organizations are calling on the community and one group in particular to put an end to the problem.

The Duluth men's coalition Men as Peacemakers, along with other Twin Port's organizations held a forum in an effort to put an end to sex trafficking.

The group says the sole mission is to find ways men can join women in tackling the problems with sex trafficking using methods of prevention.

On Monday, men and women came together for the "Men Against Trafficking" forum at the Duluth Labor temple to hear of the sex trafficking problems plaguing our community.

The meeting focused around a recent study by the Duluth Trafficking Task Force that shows 63 people in Duluth have been self identified as sex trafficking victims during a one-month span.

Of the study 49 were female and 14 were male from different cultures.
Forum organizers say, men have the greatest influence on ending the demand for sex trafficking.

"It's really important for men to take a stand and say that sex trafficking isn't ok in this community," said Ed Heisler, Executive Director, Men as Peacemakers. "We're not willing to sacrifice any women or children in our community for the pleasure or the profit of other people. Men have been the driver's of the demand and so there's an opportunity and responsibility for all of us who care about our daughters and our partners and want to see that end in the community."

Heisler went on to say that while both men and women purchase sex, the business of sex trafficking thrives almost entirely on a demand from men.

Congressmen Rick Nolan provided video commentary and support for Monday's forum.

PAVSA along with The American Indian Community Housing Organization and Mending the Sacred Hoop collaborated with Men As Peacemakers for Monday's meeting.

Further discussion on sex trafficking will continue on Thursday and Friday this week at the St. Louis County Health & Human Service Conference at the DECC.

Jeremy Brickley
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